Last re­sort drug plan

COM­PUL­SORY TREAT­MENT COM­MENT SOUGHT

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Tim Slater

A PLAN to al­low com­pul­sory al­co­hol and drug treat­ment as an “op­tion of last re­sort” has been re­leased by the State Govern­ment for pub­lic com­ment.

“All West Aus­tralians, in­clud­ing peo­ple who have ex­pe­ri­enced their own al­co­hol or drug prob­lems, fam­ily mem­bers, ser­vice providers and the wider com­mu­nity are in­vited to have their say on this im­por­tant leg­is­la­tion,” Men­tal Health Min­is­ter An­drea Mitchell said.

She said com­pul­sory al­co­hol and drug treat­ment pro­grams were con­sid­ered an op­tion of last re­sort and would be just one op­tion within a spec­trum of treat­ment ser­vices avail­able to peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing al­co­hol or drug ad­dic­tion.

“It is im­por­tant that is­sues such as the pro­posed cri­te­ria for in­clu­sion, re­fer­ral path­ways, du­ra­tion and safe­guards are de­vel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with key lo­cal stake­hold­ers, in­ter­state ex­perts, and the com­mu­nity,” she said.

Ms Mitchell re­leased dis­cus­sion and back­ground pa­pers by the Men­tal Health Com­mis­sion and called for pub­lic sub­mis­sions on the pro­posed com­pul­sory treat­ment ini­tia­tive last week.

“The back­ground and dis­cus­sion pa­pers are de­signed to pro­mote pub­lic de­bate and also act as a guide to help mem­bers of the pub­lic who want to make a sub­mis­sion,” she said.

But East Metropoli­tan MLC Sa­man­tha Rowe said forced re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion was a “des­per­ate at­tempt” from a govern­ment that had failed to deal with the meth is­sue.

“If the govern­ment wants to take this is­sue se­ri­ously, bring for­ward the pro­posal, bring in the leg­is­la­tion as a mat­ter of ur­gency and we will con­sider it,” Ms Rowe said

Ms Rowe said WA La­bor had re­leased a ‘Crys­tal Meth Ac­tion Plan’ to deal with the ice epi­demic.

Ms Mitchell said 52 ded­i­cated res­i­den­tial re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion beds and eight low-med­i­cal detox beds were on track to be op­er­a­tional from Jan­uary 2017.

The MHC is ex­pected to re­lease an Ex­po­sure Draft Bill for com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion be­fore the end of the year.

Fur­ther de­tails, visit www.mhc.wa.gov.au

Crys­tal meth – an epi­demic in WA’s com­mu­nity.

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