Liberals legislate for youth drug treatment orders

The State Liberals will introduce legislation in Parliament today to help save children’s lives by allowing magistrates to provide for drug treatment orders without consent.

The Controlled Substances Act (Youth Treatment Orders) Amendment Bill would provide for treatment orders without consent to:

  • be made by a magistrate; 
  • be supported by a medical practitioner confirming an addiction and risk of harm; and, 
  • provide for residence at a facility for up to 12 months.

The legislation would only apply to people under the age of 18, and would be similar to applying for a mental health order.

“We need to help children break drug addiction as early as possible,” said Shadow Attorney General Vickie Chapman.

“Data from the National Ice Taskforce reveals that the proportion of people aged between 14 and 19 years using ice has increased threefold from 0.4 per cent in 2007 to 1.2 per cent in 2013.

“Options for drug treatment in South Australia are narrow and services are either very expensive or inadequate.

“So far the Government have failed to action the Mullighan Report and Nyland Royal Commission to establish a secure therapeutic centre for children in need, which involves mandatory residence in some cases.

“Earlier this year, I hosted a Drug Treatment Roundtable in Parliament House.

“During these discussions, a key problem that was identified was a lack of consistency of support and treatment services and a ‘revolving door’ of drug treatment which sees people returning to drugs and dropping out of treatment programs.

“The State Liberals’ proposed drug treatment orders legislation means that those who need drug treatment the most will be able to undertake the program.”