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Dr. Tim Lourens and Ms. Maraliese Jordaan will discuss the detection of inappropriate drug and alcohol use in parental rights and
responsibilities cases where allegations of substance misuse are investigated. The outcome of these investigations
often disqualifies them from having contact with their children and limits their rights and responsibilities.
The trend in current-day South Africa to classify an individual's substance use as inappropriate or problematic is to:
(a) perform screening tests for drugs (without confirmation) and liver enzyme induction tests for alcohol use,
(b) use the nominal values of test results (without taking the significance of a test into account) and
(c) make a decision about the parent's substance use habits which may restrict their parental rights and responsibilities severely.
The authors argue that the abovementioned algorithm is scientifically incorrect and suggest that a rational, scientifically correct "diagnostic" approach must be followed when classifying an individual as a problematic substance use.
CPD Points - 2
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