Last resort drug plan
COMPULSORY TREATMENT COMMENT SOUGHT
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.