Reporting drug dependence

The Medicines and Poisons Act 2014 (external site) requires that an authorised health professional must make a report to the Department of Health, within 48 hours, when they have reason to believe that a person has acquired, as a result of repeated administration of drugs of addiction or Schedule 9 poisons, an overpowering desire for the continued administration of a drug of addiction or a Schedule 9 poison.

On receiving a report the Chief Executive Officer may decide to include the name of the person on the drugs of addiction record as a Drug Dependent person. Information regarding the drugs of addiction record will only be made available to authorised health professionals, as necessary for the treatment of a patient under their care.

Reports of drug dependence must be made on the Reporting a Drug Dependent Person form (Word 844KB).

Prior written authorisation from the CEO is required before prescribing Schedule 8 medicines for a person who has is recorded as a Drug Dependent Person. The treatment must be medically indicated and not for the treatment of addiction.

More information on the criteria for drug dependence may be found in the Guidance note: Reporting drug dependent and oversupplied persons (Word 385KB). A patient information leaflet (Word 385KB) has been developed to explain the reporting process and consequences of a report of drug dependence and inclusion on the drugs of addiction record.

A record of drug dependency may be removed from the drugs of addiction record, if the record is not accurate or up to date. If the person has no direct or indirect contact with the Department, in relation to their use of drugs of addiction, for a period of 5 years, their name will be automatically removed from the record.

If the person has been drug-free for 2 years, the person’s medical practitioner can apply to the Department of Health for removal, on behalf of the person. Supporting evidence will be required and medical practitioners should contact the Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch for guidance. Alternatively, a person can apply for removal themselves. Information for people who wish to make their own application is available on the HealthyWA website.


More information

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch
Mailing address: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849
Phone: 9222 6883