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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 381 ..

Other diversionary options in the ACT are the Court Alcohol and Drug Assessment Service (CADAS) and ACT Policing's Early Diversion Program.

The Court Alcohol and Drug Assessment Service is a treatment option for people charged with alcohol and other drug-related offences which is available before a plea is entered. It is designed as an immediate, short-term intervention when a person first appears before the Court to reduce recidivism during the bail period, and to engage them in treatment. The CADAS clinician is located at the Court, and provides an immediate assessment and recommends an appropriate treatment plan. If the person is released on bail to comply with the treatment plan, the CADAS clinician monitors attendance, and reports all outcomes to the Court. Non-compliance does not necessarily result in a penalty, but is taken into account by the Magistrate at sentencing.

ACT Policing's Early Diversion Program is designed for people who have been apprehended by the police for possession of a small amount of illicit drugs (or legal drugs used illicitly). Instead of charging them, police can divert the person to the health sector. They are referred to the Alcohol & Drug Program Diversion Service for assessment, and then referred to an approved ACT agency for treatment (education, counselling, withdrawal, pharmacotherapy, or residential rehabilitation). Compliance is determined by the Diversion Service staff. Following treatment the person must return to court to determine the outcome. Non-compliance is reported back to the police, who then determine what action should be taken (if any).

The diversionary options in place in the ACT make reproducing the MERIT Program unnecessary.

Statistics for the diversionary schemes described are available from the Territory Reference group of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs. For the September 2002 quarter these are as follows:

Treatment Referral Program

New assessment orders - 7

Gender - 7M/0F

Average age - 30

Primary drug - opiates (4); cannabis (2); amphetamines (1)

Current treatment orders - 7

Non-compliance notifications - 0

Court Alcohol and Drug Assessment Service (CADAS)

New assessments- 95

Gender - 81M/14F

Average age - 28

Primary drug - opiates (38); alcohol (32); cannabis (13); amphetamines (11); benzodiazepines (1)

Treatment attended - counselling (59); detox/rehab (19); education (11); remanded in

custody (2)

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