DDN October2021 October 2021 - Page 16




Think residential rehab is prohibitively expensive ? The numbers tell a different story , says Richard Johnson

Why are less than 4 per cent of those in need of addiction treatment referred for residential ? Is the belief that it is too expensive accurate ? This needs to be fact checked considering the recent Dame Carol Black Independent review of drugs part two , and the imminent launch of the government ’ s Joint Combatting Drugs Unit .

Much has been made of the cost of residential making it prohibitive as a local government funded form of treatment , despite the long-term benefits to the client . In 2018 , myself on behalf of ANA Treatment Centres and Treflyn Lloyd-Roberts , CEO of Yeldall Manor , submitted a Social Impact Bond ( SIB ) bid to the Cabinet Office . To meet stringent government application requirements , we had to demonstrate social impact from a financial , as well as community , perspective . It was deemed successful .
Then began a meticulous and detailed review of the costs associated with one person attending a period of residential treatment and post-treatment early recovery supported housing over two and a half years , compared with the likely costs of continued addiction in the community , assuming involvement with a range of authorities .
This article provides that detail . It also strongly suggests that residential treatment , compared to continued addiction or sporadic community-based treatments , is not expensive . It justifies the case for ring-fenced and re-centralised funding for residential treatment , in support of the Independent review of drugs .
To challenge the long-held view that residential treatment is prohibitively expensive for meaningful local government funding , it was necessary to look at the likely costs of not providing treatment to offer a basis for comparison . Costs in 2018 for a 2.5-year treatment journey at ANA Treatment Centres ( Yeldall Manor ’ s were similar ) that takes one person from active addiction to living independently and employed or studying for a recognised qualification are as follows , based on today ’ s fees and housing benefit average income per room per week :
• Detox and 24 weeks treatment ( primary residential and then community living skills ) = £ 20,040 ( funded treatment )
• 104 weeks housing in supported early recovery housing ( known as ANA WORKS ) = £ 26,000 ( enhanced housing benefit funding )
Total cost per person = £ 46,040 over 2.5 years
Total cost per person per year = £ 18,416
The first six months addresses physical addiction and building resilience and recovery capital , psychosocial interventions , life skills and health , and a residential rehab programme . The following two years support abstinence and community-based living ,
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