Saturday, October 25, 2008

Twice as many drop out of drug treatment than complete it - Lamb

Statistics from the National Drug Treatment Agency released at the beginning of the month showed that more than twice as many people seeking drug treatment drop out of programmes than complete them drug free. They reveal that only 11% of individuals were drug free after completing their treatment. 28% dropped out or left, 6% were imprisoned and 1% of those seeking treatment died before they could complete the programme.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics tell a grim tale. The number of people dying from drug misuse is higher than in 1997.

The proportion of adults saying they used Class A drugs in the previous year is slightly higher than in 1997. In 2007-08, 3% of adults used Class A drugs last year, in 1997 it was 2.7% of adults. [Crime in England and Wales 2007-08, table 2.06] This is the equivalent of around
1 million people. The Home Office estimates that there are approximately 332,000 problem drug misusers in England.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, Norman Lamb said:

"The Government is losing the fight against drugs. There needs to be a National Audit Office investigation into the cost effectiveness of current treatment.

"The current record of failure is disastrous both for those in treatment and the wider community who are placed at risk because of the close links between drug addiction and crime."
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