Lack of rehab centres could force young drug users into custody

More young people with substance misuse problems could end up in
custody due to a decline in the number of residential
rehabilitation centres, drugs service providers warned yesterday,
writes Maria Ahmed.

Over the past 12 months, adolescent units at Kenyon House,
Prestwich, Promis in London and one unit at Middlegate in
Lincolnshire were closed, leaving “too few” residential
options for young people.

Martin Barnes, chief executive of Drugscope, raised concern over
the closures at a Drugscope conference yesterday, saying they
showed how the government’s drug strategy was “not
pulling in the same direction” as young people’s

Barnes cited the high cost of residential rehabilitation
services as a reason for the decline in referrals, with the average
cost of a bed ranging between £2,000 to £5,000 a

One service provider warned that residential rehabilitation
centres for under-16’s were becoming “a dying
breed” and argued that cost “should not be a factor in
providing the best treatment”.

Delegates at the Drugscope conference in London also raised
concerns that young people with substance misuse problems would not
be “top of the list” in the new children’s trust

Chris Hanvey, director of operations at children’s charity
Barnardo’s, said there was a need to ensure the Every Child
Matters agenda would be “at the root” of creating
child-centred services for young people with substance misuse


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