I am deeply disturbed by the news that the Middlegate Lodge drug rehabilitation centre for children is on the brink of closure. Middlegate is virtually the only centre providing residential rehab services for children and teenagers in the UK. The Sun recently carried an excellent article highlighting the work of Middlegate and the unique service it offers:
The problem for Middlegate is that it is hardly receiving any referrals as the current funding system fails to promote residential rehabilitation services and an outcome based approach of getting addicts drug free. Instead the focus is on how may people are in treatment rather than how many people are leaving treatment drug free - the current level completing their treatment free of addiction is currently a meagre 4%. Where rehab services are provided, the emphasis is simply on community based provision.
There should be an important place for abstinence based residential rehab within the commissioning framework for drug services. For Middlegate - the UKs only residential home for children addicted to drink and drugs - to find itself in its current precarious financial position is a sad parable of just how badly the current system is failing.