Drug Treatment Isn't Working - By Jim Brown ( Probation Officer )

I've been saying it for ages and pretty well every Probation Officer has known it for ages too. Our one-size-fits-all approach to drug dependency by prescribing methadone isn't working. The utterly flawed case for this treatment method is comprehensively demolished in a recently published report by the right-wing think tank Centre for Policy Studies. The whole policy has been a disgraceful waste of time, money and effort and done nothing to reduce the problem - in fact it's almost certainly made the whole situation worse.

During the period that the Labour government was imposing this strategy through the National Treatment Agency, they oversaw the disgraceful demise of almost all residential rehabilitation facilities, thus leaving prison as the only 'residential' drug treatment facility available. Of course this is nonsensical, both in terms of cost and the need to commit offences in order to get a prison 'rehab' bed. But sadly in prison there will invariably be little counselling and only prescribed methadone as an alternative to illegal drugs that are widely available. Despite this, many people find it a viable and preferential option and some do manage to detoxify or become 'stabalised' on a methadone script.

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