Drug addicts must make progress

PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 October 2010

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PEOPLE being treated for drug addiction may lose their help if they fail to make progress getting rid of their habit.

The coalition Government has announced plans to introduce a new Payment By Results model (PBR) for treatment and rehabilitation centres.

The plan is designed to prevent addicts from dropping off their treatment programmes.

It will mean centres will have a greater incentive to keep track of addicts, re-engage with them if they drop out and improve care.

Weston MP John Penrose has worked with police and health services to tackle drug and crime issues in the town for several years.

This week, he welcomed the plan and said: “This is a major step in the right direction.

“For too long Weston has had to come up with local solutions because the national systems and process weren’t up to scratch. Over the last five years, and after a lot of hard work, we managed to get the previous Government to recognise the problems and to start making the necessary changes.

“I’m delighted that in the coalition Government’s first five months they’ve understood the situation and are coming up with solutions.

“The new system could be just what Weston needs. It’s important it’s designed correctly so that if an addict drops out or fails to complete their treatment they aren’t simply abandoned in favour of someone who might be easier to treat. That’s why I’ve urged ministers to look closely into adopting North Somerset’s local rehab accreditation scheme on a national scale to bolster the new system and ensure no-one can fall off the grid in future.

“The system might not have all the answers, but it’s definitely better than the previous system and could do much to help solve Weston’s problems with drugs and crime for good.”

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