Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

Effective addiction treatment remains preserve of the wealthy – CSJ recommends rehab revolution

A small 'treatment tax' should be added to the cost of alcohol in shops to fund a new generation of rehabilitation centres and stem the tide of Britain's addiction problems, a new report from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has said.

The Ambitious for Recovery report highlights how effective addiction treatment has become the preserve of the wealthy and that many addicts are left behind.

The CSJ says that in England alone 300,000 people are addicted to opiates and/or crack, 1.6 million are dependent on alcohol and one in seven children under the age of one live with a substance-abusing parent.

Researchers say residential treatment – the most effective form of abstinence-based support – has been continually cut by councils and called for this to be reversed.

To do this, the CSJ recommends a 'treatment tax' be added to off-licence alcohol sales to fund rehab for people with alcohol and drug addictions. Under the scheme, a levy of a penny per unit would be added by the end of the next Parliament to fund recovery services to the tune of £1.1billion over the five years.

The report received widespread media – including print coverage in the Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, The Sun, The Times, Mirror and Express.

Watch broadcast coverage of the report by the BBC here. Sky News here and ITV here.

The report also includes bold measures to tackle dramatic rises in the use of 'legal highs' – the study says hospital admissions are soaring and forecasts that deaths linked to 'legal highs' could be higher than those related to heroin in just two years.

The CSJ, which has heavily influenced many of the Coalition’s social policy programmes, says many 'legal highs' are sold in 'head shops' and recommends a policy to give police more powers to close them down.

The study also says that once more rehab centres are created, the Government should look at reducing welfare payments for claimants who continually refuse to address their addiction.

For further media coverage – watch CSJ Director Christian Guy on BBC Breakfast and BBC News. Ed Boyd, CSJ Deputy Policy Director, also debated the report on Sky News.

Read a blog from Christian on the Huffington Post here and an article by report author Rupert Oldham-Reid here.

The report is part of the CSJ's Breakthrough Britain 2015 series - which is expected to influence the manifestos of Britain's mainstream parties in the run-up to next year's election.

Read related CSJ reports - Addicted Britain, Breakthrough Britain: Addictions and No Quick Fix.

PM commits to help families come together and stay together – new measures inspired by the CSJ

The Government will double its budget for relationship support in an attempt to promote family stability – a move recommended in a recent CSJ report.

Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that parents and children were too often overlooked when policy was being implemented and announced a new ‘family test’, which will mean every domestic policy will have its impact on families examined.

Dr Samantha Callan, Associate Director for Families at the CSJ, previewed the speech on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and outlined how family breakdown can fuel poverty and social breakdown.

Many of the policies outlined by the PM have been recommended in previous CSJ reports on family, including last month’s publication Fully Committed?

Also included in the announcement was the expansion of the ‘troubled families’ programme and an increase in funding for councils who want to speed-up adoptions. The PM also said responsibility for work on family stability would sit within the Department for Work and Pensions.

Read a CSJ statement welcoming the speech here and read Samantha’s analysis in a blog here.

Following the announcement, a leader in the Times said: "Inspired by the analyses of poverty published by the Centre for Social Justice, the Prime Minister has argued that work, education and stronger families are now the surest and only affordable ways towards financial security for people." Read it here.

The CSJ has published numerous reports on family breakdown, including: Breakthrough Britain: Family Breakdown, Fractured Families and Forgotten Families?

CSJ to launch blueprint for tackling poverty

The CSJ will launch its major two-year investigation into UK poverty – Breakthrough Britain 2015 – next month.

Researchers have travelled tens of thousands of miles across the UK and heard the stories of hundreds of people caught up in disadvantage and the extraordinary poverty-fighting groups who work with them.

It is expected that many of the recommendations being put forward will be included in the manifestos of mainstream political parties for the 2015 General Election.

The project has looked at the main drivers of disadvantage – educational failure, family breakdown, addiction, economic dependency and unmanageable debt and has also studied the role of the voluntary sector.

Four of the six volumes have been published – The Journey to Work, Restoring the Balance, Ambitious for Recovery and Fully Committed? The remaining two chapters will be published in the coming weeks.

Read the six interim reports which were published last year – Signed On/Written Off, No Quick Fix, Maxed Out, Something’s Got to Give, Requires Improvement and Fractured Families.

Leading figures from the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats will speak at the launch event in London on September 4 and respond to the CSJ’s findings.

Speakers include Conservative policy chief Oliver Letwin, Labour’s Lord Glasman and Pensions Minister Steve Webb.

Details are available here.

Secretaries of State lead CSJ’s party conference events programme

Social policy will be under the spotlight at party conferences when the CSJ hosts a series of fringe events.

Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and leading Opposition figures will examine a range of subjects - from modern slavery and child poverty to educational failure and unemployment.

At Conservative conference in Birmingham, speakers will include Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who will be interviewed by Times’ columnist Tim Montgomerie. Spectator editor Fraser Nelson will interview Home Secretary Theresa May.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will outline the future of the Government’s Troubled Families programme and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling will discuss ongoing rehabilitation reforms.

Other speakers include Housing Minister Brandon Lewis, Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper and former Labour Health Secretary Alan Milburn. See the full line up here.

The CSJ will be joined by a strong list of shadow ministers at Labour conference in Manchester. Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan will discuss rehabilitation and Shadow Minister for Employment Stephen Timms will talk about Labour’s plans for halving the disability employment gap. Full listing are available here.

At the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow, Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker will discuss the problem of girls in gangs and Pensions Minister Steve Webb will talk about disability and employment. Full listing for the Lib Dem conference are available here.

Details of all the speakers can be accessed here.