Drug Treatment Providers ‘Lack Referrals’

More than half of residential drug treatment providers in England are under financial pressure because of lack of referrals. The Association of Directors of Social Services is warning of an impending crisis and says some providers could go out of business. It is thought drug action teams are increasingly referring addicts to community-based schemes. They are often up to 20 times cheaper, but not as effective.

The BBC’s correspondent Danny Shaw said live-in centres with detoxification facilities and counselling are widely thought to be the most effective way of dealing with the most hardened addicts.

But some of the treatment centres are half empty, while others have had to close beds.

Drug action teams are thought to be sending more addicts to community based schemes in an effort to save money and meet government targets.

It comes after news drug users seeking help to quit their habit faced a “postcode lottery” of care, according to a watchdog last month.

The Healthcare Commission and the National Treatment Agency for substance misuse reviewed the services provided across England.