Key messages

  • It is important that the alcohol and other drug sector understands the provisions of the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010 (the Act) and the rights of individuals and others under the Act. 
  • The role of alcohol and other drug workers is to provide information to people affected by the Act. 
  • Workers should inform individuals of the avenues for support if an application for a detention and treatment order has been made. 
  • Individuals already on an order should be supported to ask for help or to seek free legal advice from Victoria Legal Aid. 

 

The role of alcohol and other drug services

The role of alcohol and other drug services is to provide information to people affected by the Act. 

Workers should inform individuals of the avenues for support if an application has been made to the Magistrates' Court to place them on a detention and treatment order. 

People can also get help if they are already on an order under the Act. They should be supported to ask a family member or friend for help or to seek free legal advice from Victoria Legal Aid. 

Upon release, the person will be provided a discharge plan that will also be given to their Nominated Person.  The discharge plan will link the person with an alcohol and other drugs treatment service, to provide them with ongoing care. 

Information for alcohol and other drug services 

Examination by a doctor 

A prescribed registered medical practitioner (see Information for prescribed registered medical practitioners for full definition) must examine individuals to assess whether the criteria for a detention and treatment order are met before an application for an order can be made. 

That practitioner must explain why they are examining the person, answer any questions that they might have and give them the information sheet, Information for person examined by a prescribed registered medical practitioner under the Substance Dependence Treatment Act

If the practitioner is satisfied that all criteria for a detention and treatment order are met, they must consult with a senior clinician at the declared treatment centre before making a recommendation. DirectLine can assist with finding a prescribed registered medication practitioner (phone 1800 888 236).

Detention and treatment 

If the Magistrates' Court places an individual on a detention and treatment order, the applicant must make arrangements, in consultation with the declared treatment centre, for the person to be taken and admitted to the treatment centre and held for up to 14 days. 

Staff at the centre will provide the client treatment for their alcohol or other drug problems. 

Rights of the person who is the subject of a detention and treatment order 

The staff at the treatment centre should also give the person who is the subject of a detention and treatment order, the information sheet Your rights: detention and treatment orders
The person has the right to: 
  • name someone who will protect their interests (Nominated Person)
  • get legal help - Victoria Legal Aid (phone 1300 792 387) provide free legal advice 
  • apply to the Magistrates' Court to have the order revoked (stopped) 
  • receive a visit from the Office of the Public Advocate - the person will be visited by a representative within a few days of detention 
  • get a second opinion about whether they need treatment - the person can ask a member of staff of the treatment centre or the representative from the Office of the Public Advocate to help 
  • be involved in decisions about their treatment and discharge and receive sufficient information to assist in those decisions 
  • receive the best possible treatment in the least restrictive environment and in the least intrusive manner possible 
  • have their cultural, religious or other needs taken into consideration 
  • medical help from another service for any other illnesses.