Tackling drug misuse should still be a high priority as fewer people enter treatment in England

05 October 2012

Swanswell believes that tackling substance misuse should still be a high priority for government, despite record numbers of people recovering from drug misuse.

Swanswell, a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to the latest figures from the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA).

According to their report, nearly 30,000 people (29,855) successfully completed treatment in 2011/12, up from 27,969 the previous year and almost three times greater than seven years ago (11,208).

In addition, it found that nearly one third of users in the last seven years successfully completed their treatment and did not return.

The NTA’s figures also show that the number of young adults needing treatment for heroin or crack has dropped to its lowest recorded level ever – with the over 40s age group the only one to see an increase in treatment numbers.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘The NTA’s figures are very encouraging – more people are completing treatment drug free and fewer young adults are needing treatment for heroin or crack addiction than ever before.

Despite these promising figures, however, we can’t take our eye off the ball – there is still much work to do to tackle drug misuse, especially as the existing heroin population is ageing and new drugs of choice are becoming available to the younger generation.

In order for us to do that, it’s key for the government to keep recognising the importance of organisations such as Swanswell in helping people recover from substance misuse by ensuring levels of funding are maintained or even increased moving forward.

Treating substance misuse can be a lengthy process and we need to create more innovative treatments to make sure more people can continue to change and be happy.

Tie that in with clear public information about drug misuse and better drugs education, we’d have a solid foundation to ensure a continued reduction of those using drugs along with an increase in the number of people who have recovered permanently.’

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