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Government hails addiction treatment success

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The number of drug addicts in treatment is surpassing targets set by the government but almost half still fail to complete rehabilitation programmes.

According to the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) 82,000 people started treatment in 2007/8, which is more than government targets.

Only 35,000, which amounts to 51% all of those discharged, had successfully completed their treatment. This is, however, an improvement on a 42% success rate in 2006/7.

Treatment benefits both drug users and the community as it stabilises lives, results in fewer crimes and reduces health risk to individuals, families and communities.

NTA chief executive Paul Hayes is pleased that by the findings but recognises that further improvements must be made.

‘The treatment sector as a whole, and the NTA as an organisation, must again raise our game, ensuring our staff are skilled enough, our resources allocated appropriately, and that we better communicate what we are doing to the public,’ he said.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I have just had a reply from Hugo Luck, National programme lead (policy, National Treatment Agency who basically states that they are not interested in any other form of treatment other than the ones that are failing. If anyone is interested I will forward it along.
    my email is

    Just shows why the drugs problem will never be reduced and where most probably it will escalate. The problem really lies at the feet of those who manage the system, for they lack the basic understanding that help is needed from whatever source. Indeed with only a 3.6% success rate, this is surely a failure on a monumental scale. It is about time that these people were exposed for being absolutely useless and do more harm to the country than is perceived.

    Dr David Hill
    World Innovation Foundation Charity (WIFC)
    Bern, Switzerland

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