Thursday 24 February 2011
Research commissioned by the Department for Education demonstrates benefits to society that outweigh the cost of providing the treatment.
The report - 'Specialist drug and alcohol services for young people: a cost benefit analysis' looks at both the immediate benefits of treatment and the longer-term benefits - and assesses the value of substance misuse services.
The researchers say that every pound invested in such services saves the taxpayer between £5 and £8 over a lifetime, based on the most conservative assumptions. Even over a two year period, the immediate benefit gained from each £1 invested is estimated as worth about £2.
The report concluded that "Overall, the study has shown that the immediate and long-term benefits of specialist substance misuse treatment for young people are likely to significantly outweigh the cost of providing this treatment. In particular, we have estimated a benefit of £4.66 - £8.38 for every £1 spent on young people's drug and alcohol treatment.
"Furthermore, our central case estimates are based on a conservative set of assumptions. Therefore the benefit of specialist drug and alcohol treatment for young people may be larger than we report here."