Compulsory alcohol and other drug treatment program

In September 2016, the Mental Health Commission released Background and Discussion Papers relating to the proposed provision of compulsory alcohol and other drug treatment in Western Australia.

The Exposure Draft Compulsory Treatment (Alcohol and Other Drugs) Bill 2016 (Exposure Draft Bill) and Summary Model of Service were developed taking into account feedback from the Discussion Paper and advice from the Western Australian Compulsory Alcohol and Other Drug Community Advisory Group and Steering Committee.

The Exposure Draft Bill and Summary Model of Service were released for public comment on 9 December 2016. This second phase of consultation ended on 31 January 2017. 

In line with stakeholder feedback, which raised concerns about the lack of evidence of the effectiveness of compulsory alcohol and other drug treatment programs, the State Government will further consider a potential compulsory alcohol and other drug treatment program in Western Australia, following the release of the evaluation of a similar program in New South Wales.

The New South Wales Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment (IDAT) Program operates under the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Act 2007.

An evaluation of the IDAT Program is currently being undertaken by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. The primary aim of the evaluation is to determine the effect of the IDAT Program on patient outcomes for IDAT patients and in comparison with a control group.

The study will include:

  • a process evaluation to provide descriptive information about the Program operations, its reach, patient progression through the defined model of care, and the feasibility and appropriateness of the model of care;
  • an outcome evaluation, which aims to assess the impact of the IDAT Program on a range of patient outcomes, including drug and alcohol use and health service utilisation, in comparison with a control group; and
  • a cost evaluation to determine the costs of the IDAT Program.

It is expected that the external evaluation of the New South Wales IDAT Program will be finalised by the end of 2018.

The Exposure Draft Bill is provided below for information.  

For any queries relating to compulsory treatment, please email