Helping addicts quit - letter in today's Telegraph

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”,, 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

Date Added: Saturday 25th June 2011