Adolescent Drug Withdrawal Unit – ADWU (Ted Noffs Foundation)

Provides up to 14 days of non-medicated residential support for young people aged 13 – 17 years experiencing withdrawal from AOD.

Telephone: (02) 6123 2400
Mailing Address: PO Box 7132, Watson ACT 2602
Email address:
Location: 350 Antill St, Watson ACT 2602
Parent organisation: Ted Noffs Foundation

Access Information

Maximum waiting time for service: 

  • Up to 4 – 6 weeks

Target Group:

  • Under 18s specialist (i.e. young people aged 13 -18 years). Young people can have their 18th birthday while in program but cannot be admitted if 18 y-o at the time of admission.  
  • Accepts both ACT and interstate residents, however ACT residents get priority

Documentation required:

  • Medicare card
  • Court reports
  • Medical records
  • Prescriptions

When and how to access:

Operating hours: Program operating hours are 24 hours a day (7 days a week), office hours are 9am – 5pm (Monday – Friday)
Ways to access: By appointment
Disability access: Accessible toilets, doorways and parking
Referrals accepted from: Self, friend/family, another service, GP, Courts, Police
Other access information: Medication exclusions are benzodiazepines and Opioid Maintenance Therapy. Prior to undertaking an assessment, young people can contact the services to request an over the phone screen. Access can be provided to people who are intoxicated.


  • Assessments required
  • Over the phone
  • Appointment required
  • Takes over 1 hour

Specialist ATOD assessment includes:

  • Comprehensive alcohol, tobacco and other drug assessment
  • Comprehensive mental health history
  • Basic physical health & medical history
  • Social and family history
  • Domestic and family violence screening
  • Criminal and legal history
  • Includes other assessments such as criminal history, family history, history of trauma, strengths assessment

Treatment Plan

  • An individualised treatment plan will be developed

Drug Testing

  • Drug testing is conducted as part of treatment; the tests are conducted by pathology laboratories
  • Types of testing used include urine drug screening

Admission Requirements for Residential Services Only

  • Mobile phone stored during stay
  • Emptying of pockets required
  • Searching of possessions
  • Possessions stored during stay
  • Confiscation and disposal of alcohol and other drugs and aerosols
  • Confiscation and disposal of tobacco
  • Urine test required at time of admission
  • iPods with phones or cameras are not permitted
  • Time and days available for admission are 10am – 2pm (Monday – Thursday)
  • If under 16, the young person needs an adult to sign consent forms


Program type: Youth Residential Withdrawal

Duration and intensity: Up to 2 weeks

Not able to consume alcohol or other drugs while in program: Abstinence based

Additional program description: Provides up to 14 days of non-medicated residential support for young people aged 13 – 17 years experiencing withdrawal from AOD. The program also offers information, employment support, training, relationships building, mood management, personal growth and development, relapse prevention, life and group skills. Continuing care is available post program.

Additional supports available:

  • Vocational education
  • Employment / work placements / traineeships / job readiness support
  • Volunteering
  • Recreation and sport
  • Living skills
  • Aftercare (i.e. Follow up phone calls and meetings)

Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Support

  • Referrals to access screening, treatment and ongoing monitoring for viral hepatitis with external providers
  • Referrals to access screening & treatment for sexually transmitted infections with external providers
  • Partnership with Hepatitis ACT

Harm Reduction

  • Harm reduction drug and education and strategies (e.g. safer injecting information)

Mental Health

  • Screen for mental health
  • Assessments include a mental health component
  • Suicide risk assessment
  • Relationships with Mental Health ACT (i.e. Maintaining joint management, consultation and liaison advice)
  • Staff have mental health training
  • Partnerships with mental health services
  • Mental health specialty staff (i.e. Psychologist)

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

  • Staff undertake Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness training
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in-reach to service (i.e. Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service and Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation
  • Partnerships (i.e. MOUs are in place with Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service and Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation)

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

  • Staff undertake cultural awareness training

Tobacco Management

  • Completely smokefree
  • Screen for tobacco use
  • Provide tobacco brief interventions
  • Provide repeated or ongoing support and/or counselling for smoking cessation
  • Provide smoking cessation support groups
  • Provide access to subsidised or free nicotine replacement therapies including multiple types of NRT
  • Service has a workplace tobacco management policy


Rent & Fees: No cost, however deposit for exit money ($50) if asked to leave the program

Others: Payment required for some calls to mobile phones. Support can be provided to access Centrelink.

Staff available

  • ATOD Worker (Clinical and Non-clinical)
  • Psychologist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Counsellor
  • Nurse in reach fortnightly

Help for Families & Carers

  • Information, education and counselling offered to families and carers
  • Contact with family and carers while on program (i.e. Weekly updates and family counselling sessions)
  • Counselling for family and carers

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre

  • Assessments (i.e. Screens and 1 hour assessments completed via phone)

Other Information

  • Provide support letters for people to access ACT housing
  • Preparation of reports for Care and Protection
  • Preparation of reports for Courts

Last Updated on April 2019

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