Drug Treatment Services

Home Department written question – answered on 19th March 2002.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the availability and quality of drug treatment services.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government are making substantial investment to increase the availability of drug treatment services, particularly for Class A drug users. Through the pooled treatment budget, we are increasing funding from £234 million in 2001–02 to £400 million by 2003–04 to improve services locally and reduce waiting times.

The Government set up the National Treatment Agency (NTA) last year with the clear objective of improving the quality and availability of drug treatment in England. Since then the NTA has:

1. Established challenging waiting time targets for drug treatment and will monitor these at local level

2. Piloted a system of delivery to integrate all the support services that someone undergoing treatment may require—including aftercare and housing, as well as clinical drug treatment.

3. Promoting a shared care approach to enable GPs to work more effectively with specialist services and drug users in their areas.

The Government's drug strategy calls for a doubling of the number of people in treatment in the 10 years from 1998 to 2008. The numbers of people in treatment in 2000–01 was 118,000, an increase of 16 per cent. over 1998–99.

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