Letter in today's Telegraph (25.06.11), to view original article, click here
Helping addicts quit
SIR – We represent leading voluntary and private sector abstinence-based rehabilitation centres in England. We were concerned by the revelations in Kathy Gyngell’s report, published by the Centre for Policy Studies, Breaking the Habit: why the state should stop dealing drugs and start doing rehab (“Benefits and treatment for drug addicts cost £3.6 billion a year”, telegraph.co.uk, June 19).
We call on the Government to make abstinence-based rehabilitation central to the implementation of its drugs policy. Fewer than 2 per cent of addicts seeking help to quit drugs are currently referred to rehab. An immediate goal of 25 per cent is feasible. Such a commitment is necessary to turn around the tanker of dependency.
In the two years before the general election, an average of one rehab unit closed each month. A progressive decline in statutory referrals, with the loss of about 1,000 beds, continues. Yet taxpayers are funding the continued dependency of the 98 per cent of addicts in so-called treatment, to the tune of billions of pounds. This process will continue if the Coalition leaves current commissioning arrangements for drugs and alcohol services in place under the direction of the National Treatment Agency, soon to be transferred to Public Health England.
Unless the Coalition takes action quickly, the Prime Minister’s call to help addicts to become clean, free of drugs and build new lives, will be thwarted.
CEO, Addiction Recovery Foundation
Director, Acorn Treatment and Housing
CEO, Addiction Recovery Agency
Director, ANA Treatment Centres
Manager, Ark House
CEO, Bosence and Boswyns
CEO, Broadreach Group
CEO, Broadway Lodge
CAIS Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation
Director of case work, Addictions UK
CEO, Clinical Partners
CEO, Ley Community
Chairman, Mimosa Healthcare Group
CEO, Mount Carmel
Jan and Carl de Vera Davey
CEOs, Open Minds
Director, Park View Project
Senior statutory coordinator, Perry Clayman Project
Director, Pierpoint Addiction Treatment
Director, Providence Projects
Director, Quinton House
Director, Ravenscourt Trust
Managing director, Trust the Process
CEO, TTP Recovery Communities
CEO, Western Counselling
Director, Yeldall Manor