The Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment Act) 2017 (SACAT) is new legislation which will provide for the compulsory assessment and treatment of people who are considered to have a severe substance addiction. Compulsory assessment and treatment is a last resort and the Act can only be used after all other options have been tried without success.
SACAT replaced the out-of-date Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act 1966 (the ADA Act) on 21 February 2018.
The aims of compulsory assessment and treatment are to:
- Protect the person from harm; and
- Allow a comprehensive assessment of their addiction; and
- Stabilise their health (including medically managed withdrawal); and
- Protect and enhance their mana and dignity and restore their capacity to make informed decisions; and
- Facilitate continued treatment and care on a voluntary basis; and
- Provide an opportunity to engage in voluntary addiction treatment.
Having severe addiction and the inability to make decisions about engaging in treatment for addiction are two essential features for using the Act with someone.