Date Published: 18 October 2007
Record numbers of UK drug users are now getting treatment (UK Govn)
According to government figures, record numbers of UK drug users are now receiving treatment.
There are now over 195,000 people accessing drug treatment, which is 130% more than standards set in 1998, stated a National Treatment Agency (NTA) report.
UK Government Health minister, Dawn Primarolo, announced that this means that the Government target has been achieved two years early.
The data also shows that three out of four people accessing treatment are being retained for at least 12 weeks, which is an indication 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.
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. "
Government reporters also claim that these improvements have attained substantial benefits to society, including the saving of lives and a reduction in the victims of drug related crime. Examples of these effects include a 20% reduction in drug related crime and have stopped the sharp increases in drug related deaths that were identified in the 1990's.
Source: Government News Network (GNN), UK