BBC NEWS
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Health: Background Briefings: Drugs  
News Front Page
World
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Drugs Wednesday, 10 June, 1998, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
Treating drug misuse saves millions
Treating addicts cuts down on crime
Weaning addicts off hard drugs can save money
The cost of treating drug misuse is recouped fourfold by resulting savings in the cost of crime, according to a new report.

In one of the largest studies in the world, the progress of more than 1,000 drug misusers was closely monitored as part of the National Treatment Outcome Research Study (NTORS).

The researchers charted the effects of treatment on drug use, health, social functioning and criminality.

Four broad approaches to treatment in residential and community settings were compared.

After one year of the project, it was found that:

  • Among those drug misusers receiving treatment there was a fall in the use of heroin, cocaine and other drugs. The numbers of people who stopped using illicit opiates more than doubled.
  • After treatment there were marked reductions in criminal activity.
  • Estimates suggest that for every extra 1 spent on drug misuse treatment, more than 3 is saved on the costs of crime. In total 5m a year is being saved by this project alone.
  • The number of drug misusers sharing needles fell from 19% to 7% among those receiving residential treatment, and from 13% to 5% among methadone patients in the community.
  • There were improvements in the physical and psychological health of those in treatment both in residential and community settings.

Saves money

Public health minister Tessa Jowell
Tessa Jowell welcomed the report
Announcing the publication of the report, NTORS at One Year, at the London Drug Policy Forum Conference, Tessa Jowell, Minister for Public Health, said: "This report clearly shows that investment in treatment reduces drug misuse, risk-taking behaviour and criminal activity and saves money on criminal justice.

"Its findings confirm the benefits of treatment to the individual and to society as a whole."

Ms Jowell said the NTORS study would be an important resource for health and local authorities and all those involved in planning and providing services for drug misusers.

Regular updates on the progress of those taking part in the study will be submitted to the Department of Health until early 2001.

Links to more Drugs stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Drugs stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes