The New South Wales Government, through a two-year pilot program would trial compulsory treatment for alcoholics up to 28 days at Nepean Hospital in western Sydney.
The government is drafting changes to the Inebriates Act 1912 to enable the trial to take place. The two-year plan, to be rolled out at Nepean Hospital, would allow a doctor to seek a court order to place serious substance abusers into short-term care.
Health Minister John Hatzistergos said that the trial is intended to act as a "circuit breaker" and expect up to 50 patients a year from western Sydney to be treated in the four-bed secure unit of Nepean Hospital.
Patients would also receive counseling on how to resist temptation to drink or take drugs after their release. The trial is expected to start in the second half of this year and will be independently evaluated.