It was not that long ago that people seeking help with problems of drug or alcohol addiction could access a variety of available services funded by local authorities or the NHS. The needs of the addict would be assessed and a number of different options were made available, within sensible financial constraints, with a view to finding a type of treatment that would be the most effective for that particular addict. In many cases this involved placing the addict in a residential, or quasi residential, treatment centre for a period of drug rehab followed by an after-care programme designed to integrate him, or her, back into being a productive member of society.

There were other examples where treatment within the community was found to be more appropriate and this might include a medical detox followed by a local day programme or the prescribing of methadone in the case of some heroin addicts. Methadone, at first sight, often appeared to be a much cheaper alternative to proper drug rehab but when we see that last year nearly £500,000,000 was spent in prescribing, administering and controlling the use of methadone to the thousands of people dependant on it, we ask if it is really a good use of resources.

There are huge swathes of the country where an addict is unable to access residential rehab that is publicly funded. Birmingham, Surrey and South Wales are just three examples of areas where the only sort of help available is local community based and often underpinned by the prescribing of heroin for long periods of time until even those services can be accessed. Report after report has shown the benefits of proper rehab in terms of cost-effectiveness, benefit to the community and to the addict.

As a direct result of this policy a number of well-established treatment centres with a good track record have closed and, by and large, the centres that have opened recently cater for private clients at much higher prices, without any noticeable improvement in what they can deliver. At the Providence Project we are proud to be in our eighteenth year of delivering successful drug rehab at an extremely competitive price. We offer a four week programme at our Bournemouth treatment centre for £3950 and this includes any detox that may be required. In a number of cases it is advantageous to remain in treatment, where possible, for a longer period of time and to make this affordable we offer an extended period of treatment at a rate of only £695 per week. We realise that even these figures are beyond the reach of many who are suffering from the horror of addiction and we are constantly involved in activities aimed at changing public policy to make drug rehab available as a public service. Until then we will continue to offer our treatment at a price within the budget of many. Call us at any time and one of our counsellors will tell you what we can do for you or a loved one with a problem.

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