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Alcohol Mandatory Treatment (AMT)

AMT Services Evaluation

The Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act (AMT Act) commenced in July 2013 to reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.  It was developed as a harm reduction strategy and directs people into appropriate treatment who are problem drinkers and are either unlikely or unable to voluntarily access treatment options.

The Northern Territory Government has committed to a comprehensive evaluation of the service system to commence in November 2015.  For more information on the evaluation, see the following Fact Sheet:

Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Service Evaluation Fact Sheet (Adobe PDF document - 245KB)

Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act Review - Report Release

In keeping with a commitment made with the introduction of the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment (AMT) Act in July 2013, a six month review of the legislation has been completed.

The review focused on the AMT legislation and attracted 12 submissions. Other feedback was contributed through focus groups and client interviews.

The resulting report provides discussion on legislative recommendations and is now publicly available.


Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act


AMT Reform

Overview of alcohol mandatory treatment

The Department of Health is implementing alcohol mandatory treatment for people who are repeatedly taken into Police protective custody due to their alcohol abuse. 

Alcohol mandatory treatment is a harm reduction strategy designed to get help to some of the most chronic abusers of alcohol in our community. It gets support and services directly to those who are known to be at risk to themselves or others.  

Roll out of alcohol mandatory treatment commenced on 1 July 2013. 

What is the Process?

Adults who are taken into Police protective custody three or more times in two months for being intoxicated in public will be referred to the new alcohol mandatory treatment system. They will be clinically assessed and an independent tribunal will decide the best treatment options for that person. This may include treatment for up to three months in a secure residential treatment facility, treatment in a community residential treatment facility or other form of community management (including income management). 

During their treatment clients will be offered a range of development programs, including life skills and work readiness programs. On completion of their treatment, clients will be provided with an aftercare program to support them when they return home.


Who will be subject to mandatory treatment?

Clients subject to alcohol mandatory treatment are chronic drinkers with a health problem. They are not in treatment because they have committed a criminal or violent offence. People who misuse alcohol and commit such crimes will continue to be dealt with through the criminal justice system and will not be treated at secure or community treatment facilities. 

What happens in mandatory treatment?

During their treatment clients will be offered a range of development programs, including life skills and work readiness programs.  Each client will have an individual treatment plan. Treatment may include participation in therapeutic community programs, cognitive based therapy, life and work skills programs, motivational enhancement, and development of alternative stress management and coping strategies. On completion of their treatment, an aftercare plan will be developed for each client. This will consider issues relating to the person's ongoing treatment, general health, accommodation and employment. Aftercare case workers will support and follow up with the client when they return to the community.

How will this be implemented?

Assessment services are currently available in three locations: Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs. 

Secure treatment options are provided at the Stringybark Centre located at Berrimah and the Central Australia Aboriginal Alcohol Program Unit in Alice Springs. 

Other treatment services in the NT will be used when necessary to cater for clients where secure residential treatment is not warranted or available.

AMT Tribunal

Members of the new Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Tribunal are appointed by the Minister for Health and come from the following backgrounds:-

  1. Lawyers with at least five years experience as a legal practitioner
  2. Medical practitioners, or other suitably qualified health practitioners, who have a special interest or expertise in the general care, health care, rehabilitation or treatment of persons who are misusing alcohol
  3. Community members who have a special interest or expertise in the issues facing persons who might appear before the Tribunal.

To date, the following members have been appointed to the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Tribunal:

  • Tom Berkley (President)
  • Amanda Nobbs-Carcuro
  • Paul Rysavy
  • Martin Blakemore
  • John Boneham
  • Suzi Kapetas
  • Heather King
  • Garry Lambert
  • Beth Walker
  • Louise Samways
  • Phil Walcott
  • Gabrielle Martin
  • Robert Kendrick