5 Mar 2018

Only nine beds nationwide for most extreme addicts

From Nine To Noon, 9:09 am on 5 March 2018

A new law has come into force enabling the compulsory treatment of some of the most extreme alcohol and drug addicted patients, but only nine beds are funded for the whole country - all of them in Christchurch, and not all of them available for patients yet. The Substance Addiction Act, which replaces the 1966 Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act, was passed through parliament a year ago, and became law 12 days ago. It allows any third party, such as police, health services or family members to apply for a person to receive compulsory treatment, provided it is signed off by a specialist. Kathryn speaks with Wellington addiction clinician Roger Brooking; Salvation Army's National Director, Addictions, Lynette Hutson; and response from the Ministry of Health Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Dr John Crawshaw.