McBride v SJ [2019] NZFC 7540

Published 14 December 2021

Compulsory treatment order — capacity to make informed decisions — severe substance addiction — alcohol addiction — methylated spirits — cognitive impairment — Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017, ss 7, 8, 9, 10 & 75(4). The applicant doctor sought an order for compulsory treatment for the respondent to address his alcohol addiction. The respondent had been admitted to hospital after drinking methylated spirits as a last resort. Since 2017, the respondent had presented to the emergency department 10 times to treat both the direct and indirect effects of his alcohol consumption. The applicant gave evidence that the respondent lacked capacity to make informed decisions about his alcohol consumption and suffered cognitive impairment. The respondent did not believe he needed to go to the NOVA treatment facility in Christchurch (the only approved treatment centre). He said he had once stopped drinking for three years, and had now decided he would stop again. He believed the voluntary Salvation Army Bridge programme would help him. The Judge determined that the respondent met the criteria under the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act for compulsory treatment and an order was made. Judgment Date: 13 September 2019. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *