Health
Department of Health and Human Services

Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010

The Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010 (the Act), provides for the detention and treatment of people with severe substance dependence in a treatment centre where this is necessary as a matter of urgency to save the person’s life or prevent serious damage to their health.

Detention must be the only means by which treatment can be provided and there must be no less restrictive means reasonably available to ensure the treatment.

In addition, the peson must be incapable of making decisions about their substance use and personal health, welfare and safety due primarily to their substance dependence.

The purpose is to give the person access to medically-assisted withdrawal, time to recover, capacity to make decisions about their substance use, and the opportunity to engage in voluntary treatment.

Detention and treatment must always be an option of last resort.

Detention and treatment is limited to a maximum of 14 days.

Flowchart

Overview of procedure for making a detention and treatment order under the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010 - March 2011 (24kb, pdf)

Guidelines

Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010 - A summary (55kb, pdf)

Where to get a copy of the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010

Copies of the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010 and the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Regulations 2011 can be viewed or downloaded from the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website.

Hard copies of the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act and Regulations can be purchased from the

Victorian Government Bookshop
505 Little Collins Street
Melbourne, 3000

or on 1300 366 356 for the cost of a local call anywhere in Australia or (613) 9603 9900 for international callers.

Notice of review of the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010

Section 41 of the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010 (the Act) requires the Minister to ensure a review of the Act is completed by 1 March 2015.  DLA Piper has been appointed by the Department to undertake the review.  

The purpose of the review, as defined in the Act, is to determine –

  1. whether the objectives of the Act are being achieved and are still appropriate; and
  2. whether the Act is effective or needs to be amended.

Section 3 of the Act defines its objectives, as follows:

3          Objectives of the Act
  1. The objectives of this Act are –
    1. to provide for the detention and treatment of persons with a severe substance dependence where this is necessary as a matter of urgency to save the person's life or prevent serious damage to the person's health; and
    2. to enhance the capacity of those persons to make decisions about their substance use and personal health, welfare and safety.
  2. This Act must be interpreted, and every function conferred or imposed by this Act must be performed or exercised, so that –
    1. detention and treatment is a consideration of last resort; and
    2. any limitations on the human rights and any interference with the dignity and self-respect of a person who is the subject of any actions authorised under this Act are kept to the minimum necessary to achieve the objectives specified in subsection (1). 

To make a written submission to the review in electronic format, please see the DLA Piper website.  Guidelines for making a submission are included on that website.

Alternatively, you may forward a written submission to:
Dr Heather Wellington
Consultant, DLA Piper
140 William Street
Melbourne 3000
E:  heather.wellington@dlapiper.com
F:  03 9274 5111
Submissions must be received by DLA Piper by close of business 16 February 2015.

Disclaimer

The information provided on these pages is intended as general information about the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act and Regulations and not as legal advice. If individuals or service providers have queries about their obligations under the Act they should obtain independent legal advice.