Medical practitioners have an important role under the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010 (the Act).
An application to the Magistrates’ Court for a detention and treatment order must be accompanied by a Recommendation for a detention and treatment order form (the recommendation), completed by a ‘prescribed registered medical practitioner’.
The purpose of the recommendation is to provide clinical evidence to the court that all the criteria for detention and treatment apply to the person.
The prescribed registered medical practitioner must personally examine the person in order to complete a recommendation.
Before the examination commences, the practitioner must explain the purpose of the examination to the person and answer any questions. The practitioner should also give the person a copy of the information sheet Information for person examined by a prescribed registered medical practitioner under the Substance Dependence Treatment Act that has advice about the person’s rights under the Act.
Who is a prescribed registered medical practitioner?
The Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Regulations 2011 define a prescribed registered medical practitioner as —
- a person who is a fellow or affiliate of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (psychiatrists)
- a person who is a fellow of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (addiction medicine specialists)
- in relation to a person in custody at facilities operated by Victoria Police, a registered medical practitioner who, in the course of work for Victoria Police, provides medical care to that person at those facilities (custodial medical officers).
If you would like further information and advice on the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act, please contact the Drug and Alcohol Clinical Advisory Line (DACAS) on 1800 812 804.