If the addict is unwilling to acknowledge the concerns of their family members or cooperate with a counsellor, the only remaining option can be an involuntary committal. Committal against the individual’s will is not a criminal or punitive mechanism, but rather a legal recourse enabling the family to facilitate admission of their loved ones into a registered treatment centre of their choosing.
Under the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act (20 of 1992), concerned family members have the right to take legal action to ensure cooperation of the addict, regardless of the age of the person in question. All that is required is to contact a social worker, who will guide the family as to what is required to legally encourage the addict into treatment, and to arrange a court date to facilitate admission into a treatment centre. Necessary documentation for this process includes:
- A medical report showing the addict’s physical fitness to be included in a treatment program
- A letter of acceptance from a treatment facility of the family’s choosing
- An affidavit from a family member
- A social worker’s report
Legal sectioning does not entail a criminal record for the addict. It empowers the family members and encourages compliance in the addicted individual.