Drug addict numbers falling

PUBLISHED: 04:37 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:03 24 May 2010

FEWER drug addicts are now coming to North Somerset for treatment, the Weston & Somerset Mercury can reveal. Since April there has been a 20 per cent drop in the number of addicts coming to treatment centres, mostly in Weston, from outside the area, accor

FEWER drug addicts are now coming to North Somerset for treatment, the Weston & Somerset Mercury can reveal.Since April there has been a 20 per cent drop in the number of addicts coming to treatment centres, mostly in Weston, from outside the area, according to Bram Tout, North Somerset Council's drug and alcohol officer.He said: "There's been a reduction in numbers referred to residential treatment across the country. We think this is down to uncertainty over Government funding."In addition to that there has been an impact from the police's Operation Jupiter, which targeted unregistered treatment centres and poor quality accommodation."Work by MP John Penrose has also had an effect. He wrote to local authorities sending people to North Somerset for treatment and asked them to be more accountable for their referrals."It is difficult to say if this will be a sustained drop. The Government has just made money available to increase treatment places, but Weston is unlikely to be affected because it already has treatment centres."New computer software which monitors the number of addicts moving in and out of the area for treatment has been developed by the council. The software aims to help addicts as they move through the treatment process and is due to go live in the next few months. Previously the council has had to rely on figures from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring Agency which has been slow to provide information.

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