Forced detox plan for meth users
Out-of-control ice addicts could be forced into drug detox treatment under a State Government plan to help desperate families and tackle WA’s methamphetamine scourge.
Premier Mark McGowan and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook announced they want to start a trial next year of “compulsory crisis intervention” for people with severe behavioural problems associated with their drug use.
While the legalities and details of how the program would work were yet to be developed, a short-term involuntary “stabilisation and withdrawal service” was among the Government’s initial responses to recommendations from its Meth Action Plan Taskforce.
“We’re working on this because the one thing the task force heard loud and clear from families is they want immediate help . . . something that isn’t a prison cell or a hospital bed but a safe space,” Mr McGowan said on Monday.
“Families and especially parents are crying out for more support and we have a responsibility to do everything we possibly can to help them through the devastating impact of meth use on their sons and daughters.”
The police and mental health coresponse program will also be expanded after a two-year trial found it helped mentally ill people get better treatment and saved police and health services time.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts said there had been a six-fold increase in the past decade in the number of calls to police for help where mental illness, alcohol or drugs were a factor.
Analysis of the trial found that though the model did not reduce demand for police services, it cut the time taken to deal with incidents because a clinician could help de-escalate situations and offer more appropriate care.
Two more mobile response units comprising police officers and mental health clinicians will be in place by March, to double the metropolitan area coverage.
To further reduce demand on emergency departments, mental health-specific emergency centres will be created at Perth hospitals
he Government says it will also set up a “one-stop, 24-hour support service” to make it easier for drug users and their families to find help.