Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Zealand Law Reform Commission Report on Compulsory Treatment of Addicts

The Law Commission of New Zealand has released a report entitled Compulsory Treatment for Substance Dependence: A Review of the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act 1966.

From the press release:
"The Law Commission’s latest report, Compulsory Treatment for Substance Dependence, proposes replacing the out-dated Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act 1966 with a new Act which would make the law more user friendly while at the same time providing much greater safeguards for people forced to undergo compulsory treatment (...)"

"Currently there are only 4 facilities authorised to accept people under compulsory treatment orders after they have completed detoxification in a hospital. None was willing to take young people under 20 and none was available outside the three main centres (...)"

"Under the Commission’s proposals anybody over the age of 18 who believed a person met the criteria for compulsory treatment would be able to contact an official called the Director of Area Alcohol and Drug Services who would arrange for an assessment. In order to meet the criteria for compulsory treatment a person would have to have severe substance dependence, be at risk from significant harm and be likely to benefit from, but have refused, treatment."

"The initial maximum period of compulsory treatment would be six weeks with the potential for the Family Court to extend the period for a further three months where a person appeared to have a brain injury caused by drug or alcohol use, so that more time was needed to treat them or make arrangements for their on-going care (...)"

"The new Act would also provide much stronger legal safeguards than the current legislation, ensuring that a person under a compulsory treatment order has the same patient rights and opportunities for review that apply to those held under mental health legislation."
The report also examines the policies in five Australian states and in the United Kingdom.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:17 pm

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