The Committal Process

If the Subject 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  Dependency Act (20 of 1992), concerned family members have the right to take legal action to ensure cooperation of the subject, 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 subject into rehabilitation, and to arrange a court date to facilitate admission into a treatment centre. Necessary documentation for this process includes:

  • A medical report showing the subject’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 individual.

An intervention is an open channel for families and friends to constructively address and discuss abuse issues in a mediated format with the affected individual. The intent is to confront the issues and not the individual and to ultimately provide them with the support they require, to move on from their dependence to their independence.