In 2013-14, 79% of clients in the UK undergoing structured drug treatment for a drug dependency were using opiates. Every person’s treatment need is different, with different success rates, and different costs.
This research investigates 2 possible treatment pathways for opiate dependents:
- those that had a residential component to their treatment
- those whose treatment was solely in the community
This analytical working paper makes a relative comparison of the costs and savings to wider public services that might be generated as results of clients being on each of the 2 pathways. The public services considered include the treatment itself, welfare payments, housing benefit, employment, health, drug-related offending and prison.
The data available is limited and so many assumptions have had to be made, in particular it only covers 3 years and savings are not necessarily cashable. Therefore it is not possible to draw any conclusions about savings between the 2 pathways or more generally.
Data on structured drug treatment is held by Public Health England, and published annually in their Annual Drug Stats release.
Author: DWP Social Justice Analysis, with PHE contributions on analysis and drafting.