Letter to the Daily Telegraph (published 25 June 2011)

Addictions UK and others representing leading voluntary and private sector abstinence-based rehabilitation centres in England have written to the Daily Telegraph.

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.

Deirdre Boyd
CEO, Addiction Recovery Foundation
Ed Smith
Director, Acorn Treatment and Housing
Peter Walker
CEO, Addiction Recovery Agency
Richard Johnson
Director, ANA Treatment Centres
Ges Schofield
Manager, Ark House
Derek Mace
CEO, Bosence and Boswyns
Gina Dormer
CEO, Broadreach Group
Brian Dudley
CEO, Broadway Lodge
Clive Wolfendale
CAIS Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation
Simon Stephens
Director of Case Work, Addictions UK
Barnaby Guthrie
CEO, Clinical Partners
Chip Somers
CEO, Focus12
Wendy Dawson
CEO, Ley Community
Anthony Massouras
Chairman, Mimosa Healthcare Group
Ruth Allonby
CEO, Mount Carmel
Jan and Carl de Vera Davey
CEOs, Open Minds
Carl Edwards
Director, Park View Project
James Peacock
Senior statutory coordinator, Perry Clayman Project
John Grady
Director, Pierpoint Addiction Treatment
Steve Spiegel
Director, Providence Projects
Arlene Rodgers
Director, Quinton House
Jon Harman
Director, Ravenscourt Trust
Gavin Cooper
Managing director, Trust the Process
Tom Kirkwood
CEO, TTP Recovery Communities
Amanda Thomas
CEO, Western Counselling
Ken Wiltshire
Director, Yeldall Manor

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