Alcohol and other drug crisis intervention

Background

The Methamphetamine Action Plan (MAP) Taskforce was a key election commitment of the McGowan Government. The Final Report was released publically on 26 November 2018, providing 57 recommendations across nine themes.

The  MAP Taskforce heard from families who felt that compulsory treatment should be available as a solution for methamphetamine dependent users in crisis, particularly as an alternative to incarceration. Whilst the MAP  Taskforce understood the need for a new type of crisis response, it was identified that further  evidence would be needed to support  a compulsory treatment approach. The MAP Taskforce was articulate in recognising the need to fulfil demand for voluntary treatment first. This findings of the Select Committee Inquiry into alternate approaches to reducing illicit drug use and its effects on the community also indicated further evidence should be sought if compulsory treatment was to be supported; however the Select Committee did support a trial of compulsory detoxification.

As part of the immediate government response to the Final Report, on 26 November 2018 the Minister for Mental Health announced planning would commence for a WA trial of compulsory crisis intervention to support WA families. Additionally on 7 May 2019, as part of the full government response to the Final Report, the Minister for Mental Health announced another initiative to provide more support for individuals and families in crisis.

This included the allocation of $200,000 to the Mental Health Commission in 2019-20 to commission a co-designed System Service model for people in AOD crisis, which allows the exploration of both non-compulsory and compulsory detox/treatment within an AOD crisis system within Western Australia.

Current status

In December 2019, the Mental Health Commission appointed an independent third-party, Tuna Blue Facilitation, to lead a process of engagement with the community regarding AOD Crisis Intervention in Western Australia. Their primary task is to develop a system service model to address the gaps in the provision of short-term AOD crisis intervention. The model will not be limited to individuals who have used a specific type of drug or alcohol, however will have specific consideration to ensure the model is able to appropriately respond to individuals using methamphetamines who are in crisis.  This is a co-design project, meaning that the model for addressing these gaps is being designed with people who have experienced AOD use, their families and carers.

There is currently no legislation in Western Australia which enables the provision of compulsory crisis intervention and treatment to individuals with severe AOD issues, including for methamphetamine users.   This process will include the consideration of both compulsory and non-compulsory options.

Community engagement is the key feature of the approach. A Community Advisory Group has been established and the broader community will have the opportunity to provide input through metropolitan and regional community forums, sector workshops and via an online survey. The main outcome from this consultation activity will be a cost‑effective, community-informed model for AOD crisis intervention for Western Australia. 

Community Advisory Group

The MHC highly values the contribution that consumers, families, carers and community members make to the planning, implementation, delivery and evaluation of mental health, and AOD programs and services.

Through an open Expression of Interest process conducted between December 2019 and January 2020, a Community Advisory Group was appointed. The Community Advisory Group was  announced on 27 February 2020. The Community Advisory Group, facilitated by Tuna Blue, consists of a range of consumers, carers and family members from a range of different backgrounds.  The Community Advisory Group is meeting between February and June 2020 and will provide advice regarding how to address current gaps in the provision of AOD short-term critical intervention services and recommendations on whether existing identified effective and efficient services might be expanded and/or refined.

Metropolitan Community Forums

In light of developments with the COVID-19 virus, it is with regret that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the community forums planned for Cockburn and Joondalup. Additionally, face-to-face forums being planned for each region of Western Australia are no longer going ahead due to travel restrictions.

We wish to assure you that the important work of the project continues, and that planning is underway to ensure that consultation is as inclusive and comprehensive as possible. To that end, an online forum has now been scheduled for Thursday 2 April at 1pm. You can register for the event below:

Further information regarding engagement for AOD crisis intervention will be available soon on this webpage. 

Online Survey

An online consultation survey has been developed to provide an additional option for the community to provide input. The online approach enables engagement with remote communities, as well as people who are unable to engage with other consultation methods. It also provides an option for people to provide feedback anonymously.  

To complete the survey click here  

Sector Forums

In addition to the unfortunate cancellation of community forums in light of developments with the COVID-19 virus, it is with regret that we have made the difficult decision to also cancel the sector forums originally planned for March 2020. Representatives from relevant Government departments; peak bodies; first-line responders, including the emergency services; AOD and co-occurring mental health community support services; medical experts, practitioners and academic research institutions will still form part of an important engagement process for AOD crisis intervention.

For anyone currently registered for the workshops, further information will be provided directly via the contact details provided. We encourage anyone who has received an invitation to the sector workshops to continue to register, as this will enable us to provide updates on alternative engagement options.

More information

Further information regarding compulsory treatment

AOD Crisis Intervention - Background Paper

AOD Crisis Intervention CAG - Terms of reference

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