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Involuntary treatment of drug and alcohol dependence in New South Wales: an old Act and a new direction

Glenys M Dore, Robert G Batey and Darren J Smyth
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (11): 583-585. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10387

Will new legislation address the dilemmas raised by a century-old Act for involuntary treatment of addiction?

In September 2012, the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Act 2007 was adopted in New South Wales, to better manage people requiring involuntary treatment for substance dependence. The new Act formally replaced the outdated, century-old Inebriates Act 1912 (NSW). Here, we explain why the new legislation was needed and what advances in management it will enable.

  • Glenys M Dore1
  • Robert G Batey2,3
  • Darren J Smyth4

  • 1 Northern Sydney Drug and Alcohol Service, Northern Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Australasian Society for HIV Medicine, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office, NSW Health, Sydney, NSW.
  • 4 Drug and Alcohol Nurses Australasia, Warrnambool, VIC.


Competing interests:

Glenys Dore is the Clinical Director of the Northern Sydney Drug and Alcohol Service, where one of the new ITUs is based. Robert Batey has advised NSW Health about involuntary treatment for substance dependence and was involved in setting up the ITU trial in his former role as Clinical Advisor, Addiction Medicine.

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