Alcohol & Drug Detoxification

Would you like an experienced Specialist GP to support your effort to end an alcohol or drug problem?

Dr Graham Gulbransen, Fellow of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians is a Specialist GP with over 30 years’ experience in medical detoxification and having completed advanced training in the detoxification of alcohol and drug addiction.

He has supported families with home detoxes from alcohol and other drugs.

Cannabis can be understood as an ‘exit drug’ or safer substitution for alcohol and other drugs. Medicinal cannabis such as CBD oil is often helpful for emotional distress.

What is Detoxification?

Here we are talking about using medication prescribed by an experienced Specialist GP/Addiction Fellow to reduce the distressing symptoms of alcohol or drug withdrawal, e.g. Naltrexone for alcohol addiction.

Such a detox is best supported by family/whanau or a rehabilitation service such as CADS.

Dr Gulbransen addesses and prescribes medication for clients stopping (or reducing) these substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cannabis
  • Tobacco
  • Benzodiazepines and opioids (may need authorisation from CADS)

Alcohol and drug medical detoxification

Medication Prescribed


Naltrexone tablets are usually taken once or twice daily to reduce thinking about drinking. Naltrexone can be very helpful for those with a goal of abstinence, short or long term. Naltrexone may also help users control their drinking, reducing it to safer levels. Some heavy drinkers are able to find their ‘stop switch’ and limit intake to one or two drinks.

It is important to take Naltrexone daily or before drinking alcohol for several months or even years. Blood tests to check liver function are recommended. Naltrexone information in great detail can be found here:

Medication: best seen as part of the solution

Medication works best with other psycho-social supports. 'The opposite of Addiction is Connection.'

Healthy connections with other people and long term abstinence from alcohol or drugs is best achieved by also attending an Alcohol and Drug Counsellor, Psychologist or Psychotherapist. Highly recommended is alcohol and drug counsellor Grant Foster. He holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Post Graduate Diploma in Health Science.
For one-to-one counselling contact Grant on 09 522 5206 or 021 959 202. Check out his Augustus Clinic website:

Many people do better attending CADS groups or by going to a rehabilitation centre. Rehab aftercare may involve a 12 Step Programme such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings. A community detox may be followed by admission to The Bridge, Higher Ground or Odyssey House.

For help with addiction and/or chronic pain contact Dr Graham Gulbransen.

Contact Dr Gulbransen