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Mandatory treatment option for young people experiencing drug dependency

21 June 2018

The Government of South Australia will today introduce legislation to Parliament to provide the option of mandatory treatment for children and young people experiencing drug dependency.

Drug dependency can have a devastating impact on young people, their futures and their families, and can have negative impacts on the broader community.

The Controlled Substances (Youth Treatment Orders) Amendment Bill 2018 recognises the importance of tackling substance abuse before children reach adulthood. The changes offer parents an additional option when their child is unlikely to voluntarily seek treatment and may be a danger to themselves or others.

It is expected that these laws will be used after other interventions have failed and in cases where a medical assessment suggests treatment is required. The Youth Court will oversee the application of the laws to ensure they are used responsibly.

If it passes Parliament, family members will be able to ask the Youth Court to order someone under 18 years old to complete a drug treatment program.