Rehabilitation programmes for drug misusers must be more
responsive and education initiatives should be extended to parents
and carers, a fringe meeting on drugs strategy heard last week.
Ruth Henig, Lancashire councillor and chairperson of the
Association of Police Authorities, said many heroin and crack
misusers gave up on kicking their habits because rehabilitation
treatment was not available quickly enough.
She said treatment needed to be administered within 24 hours of
an addict expressing an interest in receiving it, otherwise the
window of opportunity would be lost.
Of the 25,000 people referred for rehabilitation treatment last
year only 25 per cent finished the course, whereas this figure rose
to 75 per cent for patients receiving treatment within 24
A lack of support for prisoners who undergo rehabilitation once
they have been released back into the community was also hindering
those most vulnerable to slipping back into addiction, Henig
She said that although 90 per cent of schools had a drug
education policy, the number of children who experimented with
drugs was not falling. She said drug education initiatives should
be extended to carers and parents in an effort to break the cycle