NADA provided a submission [PDF] to the Australian Senate’s Community Affairs Legislation Committee on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2019 (Bill). We argued that the measures in the Bill are not based on evidence; they contravene the expert advice from the addiction medicine sector, the AOD specialist non government sector and other health bodies; and they are likely to cause social and clinical harm to people experiencing AOD dependency issues and that this reform proposal will further marginalise a population of people who experience a greater burden of ill health, and psychological and social disadvantage.
NADA is very concerned that the only likely outcome of this Bill will be to worsen the substance dependency of the people targeted, and to make voluntary entry to treatment more difficult than it already is. NADA argued that the additional funds earmarked for the trial and for the additional treatment services would be better used to enhance the availability of AOD specialist treatment for people who are actively seeking to address issues relating to their AOD use. NADA remains concerned that the Senate Committee has recommended that the trial go ahead despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary presented to the government.