Reports and publications

A report into the effectiveness of civil commitment in the treatment of alcoholism, and its suitability for implementation the Northern Territory

Posted on: 20 May, 2013
Issue: Vol 13 No 2, April 2013 – June 2013
Related to Policies Alcohol use Northern Territory

Tan WY, Johnson M (2013)
A report into the effectiveness of civil commitment in the treatment of alcoholism, and its suitability for implementation the Northern Territory
Canberra: National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Long-term harmful use of alcohol remains a large problem in the Northern Territory and a model of civil commitment for ‘problem drinkers’ has been proposed. This planned system has been strongly criticised on a number of ethical, moral and legal grounds.

This report explores existing evidence from studies on both civil and forensic mandatory rehabilitation, in order to evaluate if it would be an effective form of treatment for alcohol dependent persons, and appropriate to implement such a system in the Northern Territory.

The report concludes that given the lack of evidence for the effectiveness of civil commitment and the potentially significant impact upon the freedoms of individuals, families and the communities, it could be difficult to justify the proposal.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract