Big Boost In Numbers Getting Drug Treatment

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Drug Treatment

Record numbers of drug users are now getting treatment meaning the Government target has been achieved two years early, Health minister, Dawn Primarolo, today announced today.

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There are now over 195,000 people accessing drug treatment, which is 130% more than standards set in 1998, a National Treatment Agency (NTA) report said today.

The data also shows that three out of four people accessing treatment are being retained for at least 12 weeks, an indicator of a successful treatment outcome. There has been an increase in the proportion of those completing treatment or being retained from treatment, from 76% in 2005/06 to 80% in 2006/07. This too is a remarkable achievement, particularly as in the past couple of years we have been engaging some of the most chaotic drug users who because of their complex needs are more likely to leave treatment early.

Public Health Minister, Dawn Primarolo said: "These figures released today are a remarkable achievement and I would like to thank all NHS staff or service users for their contribution to the step change that has been made. Many thought that the targets set in 1998 were aspirational and unrealistic. We have made massive strides in tackling the harm that drugs cause to both individuals and society as a whole. Through the Drug Strategy we will continue to ensure that effective drug treatment is available to those who need it"

These improvements have attained substantial benefits to society, with the saving of lives and a reduction in the victims of drug related crime. We have seen a 20% reduction in drug related crime and have stopped the sharp increases in drug related deaths that were identified in the 1990's.

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