Alcoholics forced into hospital treatment

Australia is piloting a program that commits their most severe addicts and alcoholics for 28 days. Interesting in light of Australia’s embrace of harm reduction:

HEAVILY-addicted drug users and alcoholics will be forced to have treatment in hospital under a two-year pilot proposed by the New South Wales Government.

The trial, with up to 28 days of involuntary care at Nepean Hospital, would be a “circuit breaker” for the most severely addicted, state Health Minister John Hatzistergos said today.

“The four-bed service at Nepean Hospital will aim to break the addiction cycle for alcoholics and long-term entrenched drug users, before they are referred to longer-term treatment and rehabilitation with community support and follow-up,” he said.

“We expect up to 50 patients a year from western Sydney will be treated in the four-bed secure unit.”

The Government is drafting changes to the Inebriates Act 1912 to enable the trial to take place.

The changes would allow medical practitioners to seek a court order referring a severely drug- or alcohol-dependent person to compulsory treatment.