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Drug Treatment Centres

Drug Treatment Centres

According to the National Treatment Agency (NTA) for Substance Misuse, approximately 3.8 million people throughout England and Wales use at least one illegal substance each year. Further, class A drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, are estimated to be used by over a quarter of this figure.

National UK statistics convey that only a small minority of drug takers become addicted; nonetheless, the numbers are still substantial. Specifically, 2009-10 statistics indicate that 320,000 people in England alone were addicted to drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Of this figure, 206,889 had some form of contact with a drug treatment centre, and 192,367 adults had entered into a treatment centre for around 12 weeks. The statistics further revealed that 23,680 problem drug users left these drug treatment centres addiction free.

To maximise the chances of leaving Drug Treatment Centres addiction free, it is important that drug users note their own individual situation. Long-term abstinence is more likely when treatments are suited to a drug user’s needs. Moreover, treatments within centres should address other domains of life affected by the addiction, such as relationships and psychological well-being. For instance, developing coping strategies that do not involve drug taking are an important means of promoting long-term abstinence. It is also important that people are committed to the treatment; the longer the treatment the better in overcoming the addiction, including ongoing support once the initial treatment finishes.

Not only do drug treatments benefit the individual, they also have the potential to be advantageous for family and friends and society in general. For example, helping drug users abstain from drugs positively impacts the number and level of crimes committed by them. This is exemplified by figures indicating the criminal justice system refers around a quarter of the people who enter into treatment. Fundamentally, drug treatments also benefit society in terms of their cost-effectiveness: according to NTA, ‘for every £1 spent on drug treatment, society benefits to the tune of £2.50’.

Ultimately, statistics suggest that for drug users to overcome their addiction, some form of drug treatment is likely to be much more successful than receiving no help or support at all.


Published by PCUG Addiction Treatment on 04/08/2020.

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