More than £2.7m cut from rehab services in Norfolk, report finds
- Credit: PA
Drug and alcohol users in rehabilitation have seen the funding to services cut by 25pc in the past six years, a report has found.
The report, by addiction treatment company UKAT, has found that councils in the region have spent £40.8m to fund substance misuse services this year, a drop of £8m across the east compared with 2013.
Norfolk County Council has cut the most with £2.76m less being spent in 2019 compared to six years ago.
But the council has reassured those at risk stating that although the budget has decreased, other services have been created.
A spokesman said: "Norfolk County Council commissioned a new adult service that started in April 2018 and is delivered by 'change grow live' (CGL).
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"The new service emphasises supporting recovery in communities and there are early indications of improving performance with improved data quality, increasing numbers of clients in treatment, improved retention at 12 weeks treatment, and positive client testimonies."
They highlighted that £1.5m is no longer spent by the council as funding for rehab units is now provided to the NHS.
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The spokesman added: "Previously we commissioned a service that included prison substance misuse work on behalf of the NHS.
"This is now commissioned directly by the NHS, and the associated £1.5m is not spent through the council but it has not been lost from Norfolk.
"Thus overall the decrease in investment in drug and alcohol is about £1m reflecting reductions in the public health grant from government."
But Eytan Alexander, managing director of, said not enough is being done to protect those at risk.
He said: "Not everyone can afford to pay for their addiction treatment, but everyone deserves to be treated and to be given a second chance at life. But at this rate, where will addicts living here go to get help?"
Figures from the Care Quality Commission show that nearly half of public rehab centres in the region have closed in the same period, from 21 now there are just 11.
"Public residential rehabs regulated by the CCQ are reliant on referrals from their local councils funding patient treatment," Mr Alexander added.
"If less money is being spent by local councils on placing those most vulnerable into treatment, then we will undoubtedly see even more public rehabs having been forced to close."