Pubdate: Sun, 23 Nov 2008
Source: Observer, The (UK)
Copyright: 2008 Guardian News and Media Limited
Author: Paul Hayes


Elizabeth Day's analysis of drug treatment in the UK ('Is this the
answer?', Drugs Uncovered, last week) eloquently shows that there are
a number of different ways to overcome addiction. Most of those
involved in drug treatment would probably agree with the National
Treatment Agency's position that we need a balanced system, so that
individuals can be offered the treatment most likely to work for them.
Residential rehabilitation is one of the options that should be
available. However, to assert that it is 'more robust' than other
types of drug treatment is contrary to the wealth of evidence drawn
upon by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in
issuing guidance to the sector.

The article neglected to highlight the transformation that drug
treatment has undergone since 2001. Now virtually anyone who needs
treatment in England can get it quickly. The challenge is to match the
quantity of service with quality, so that any user who has the
potential to overcome their addiction has the opportunity to do so.

Paul Hayes, Chief Executive, NHS National Treatment Agency for
Substance Misuse, London 
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