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Home > NSW Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment (IDAT) program.

UNSW Social Policy Research Centre. (2020) NSW Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment (IDAT) program. Sydney: UNSW Social Policy Research Centre.

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PDF (Monograph 30: Process evaluation of the NSW IDAT program)
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PDF (Monograph 31: A cost assessment of the NSW IDAT program)
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PDF (Monograph 32: An evaluation of outcomes in the NSW IDAT program)
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PDF (Monograph 33: A data linkage evaluation of the outcomes of the NSW IDAT program)
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The Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment (IDAT) program commenced in New South Wales in 2012 under the legislative basis of the NSW Drug and Alcohol Treatment Act 2007 (Act). The Act provides for the involuntary detention, treatment and stabilisation regime (for 28 days) for persons with severe substance dependence, with the stated aim of protecting the health and safety of such persons, while also aiming to address all human rights aspects that were the subject of criticism of the previous legislation. 

Monograph 30: The process evaluation aimed to provide descriptive information about the IDAT program operations, its reach, strengths and weaknesses, patient progression though the model of care, and the feasibility and appropriateness of the model of care. In providing this description, it also aimed to evaluate whether the Act was being implemented according to how it was originally conceived, and the extent to which the implementation of the IDAT program was consistent with the Model of Care and the legislative basis for the program, at the time of the process evaluation. 

Monograph 31: The overall objective of this cost assessment was to report on the estimates of the costs of delivering the IDAT program across four years - from the commencement of the program (July 2012) to June 2016. The perspective of this study was the clinical costs associated with delivery of IDAT, excluding infrastructure costs. Wherever possible this study used cost estimates of actual program delivery rather than the funding allocated to the program. The focus on actual costs is important for understanding the real costs of service provision, planning for future budget allocations, and providing the basis for potential future comparative analyses. 

Monograph 32: The aim of this outcome evaluation was to assess the effectiveness of the IDAT program in reducing alcohol and drug use and improving health and social outcomes. The effectiveness of the IDAT program is not only determined by the clinical intervention but by a combination of components:

  1. referral to IDAT and the procedural justice practices involved in referral and admission
  2. perceptions and impacts of coercion
  3. medical, clinical and psychological interventions provided in inpatient treatment, and
  4. services linking patients to community aftercare.

For involuntary treatment, it is important to include perceived coercion and associated negative emotional reactions. As such, this evaluation also examines if patients’ perceive coercion and negative emotional reactions may have negative impacts on treatment outcomes in addition to the clinical treatment outcomes. 

Monograph 33: This IDAT Data Linkage Study aimed to compare IDAT patients to a comparison group comprised of people in similar circumstances to those of IDAT. It used administrative health and mortality records, rather than directly collected patient data. The key comparisons were conducted on changes in health service usage (12 months before and 12 months after IDAT, in comparison with a control group), including changes in emergency admissions, unplanned hospital admissions and differences in mortality between the two groups.

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