Fewer addicts are treated for cocaine habit

SUFFOLK: New figures show a sharp drop in the number of drug users in the East of England getting treatment for cocaine addiction.

According to a report by The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA), those seeking treatment for powder cocaine addiction in the region have dropped by 15 per cent and those getting treatment for crack cocaine addiction have gone down by 34pc.

However overall figures for Suffolk show that there was a slight increase in drug users, with 1,387 people who got treatment between April 2009 and March 2010, compared to 1,352 in 2008 to 2009.

Simon Aalders, Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team co-ordinator, said: “We have been fairly constant in relation to drug treatment. Our providers have worked very hard to treat people.”

According to the NTA report, the reduction disclosed by annual treatment statistics reflects recent evidence of a decline in popularity of cocaine as scarce street supplies are cut and adulterated by dealers.

NTA regional manager Emma Pawson said: “Treatment services in the East of England are continuing to contribute to safer and better communities by getting people into treatment so they can start to recover from addiction.

“These statistics give us more than just an annual snapshot for one year, 2009-10. We now have five years’ worth of robust data from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System, so we can show some reliable trends.

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“What this tells us is that the problems facing drug treatment services in the East of England are changing. We need to be flexible to adapt to these new challenges, and maximise the opportunities for drug addicts to recover.”

n Has your life been affected by drugs and do you want to tell us your experiences? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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