The Conservatives have called for an "abstinence-based" approach to drug rehabilitation, after uncovering figures showing that fewer than 4% of addicts undergoing treatment become drug-free each year.
Figures released by the Department of Health showed that of 193,600 people receiving drug treatment in 2007/08, more than two-thirds - 133,024 - remained in treatment at the end of the year.
Just 7,324 (3.8%) of those treated were discharged drug-free, while 17,306 (8.9%) completed their course without being classified clean of drugs, 19.591 (10.1%) dropped out, 4,240 (2.2%) went to prison and 784 (0.4%) died, according to monitoring by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse.
Conservative home affairs spokesman James Brokenshire, who obtained the figures in answer to a parliamentary question, said: "These stark figures highlight just how much Labour has failed to break the cycle of addiction.
"Only a small fraction of users ever get drug-free and there has been a worrying increase in those dying before they complete their treatment. The Government's approach has simply consigned people to a life on drugs than aspiring to help them to live a life drug-free.
"Exchanging a methadone prescription for the pharmacist with a fix from the drug dealer isn't a sustainable solution.
"Much greater focus needs to be put on getting users drug-free through abstinence-based rehabilitation rather than drug-dependent courtesy of the state. Labour's drug policies are now part of the problem, not the solution."
Source - http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5g-0BdHCZR9G7RCJYiJglxMo5IEWg
Copyright © 2009 The Press Association. All rights reserved.