WHO ARE THE 70,000 NOT IN REHAB NOR ON SUBSTITUTE MEDICATION?
Jon Hibbs, communications director of the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, has written to Addiction Today stating that "one third of people in treatment (sic) are not on substitute medication. NDTMS figures, given in a recent parliamentary question, confirmed that 131,468 people last year received methadone or buprenorphine. The rest are on abstinence-based programmes".
At face value, this appears excellent: the NTA claims in its Annual Report and press releases that a total of over 200,000 people are "in treatment", which means about 70,000 people on Hibbs' "abstinence-based programmes". But only 2% (about 4,000 patients) are referred to abstinence-based residential rehab, and there are even fewer abstinence-based day programmes. So where are the 65,000 or so patients?
We invite answers about this 'third way' approach with interest. What types of treatment are received, for how long and in what numbers? Which organisations provide it? What are the outcomes of these different environments?
And what percentage of the 65,000 are people seeking help forced to wait 12 weeks between an initial appointment and a second one, who are then labelled as being in "12 weeks retention"?
As ever, an independent audit would underscore this NTA achievement.