Friday, 26 January 2007

£10 - NICE one?

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has suggested drug addicts receiving treatment should be given shopping vouchers to encourage them to kick their habit. Evidence from international trials has shown the use of shopping vouchers can cut drug abuse by hardened addicts.
It is proposed to give £10 vouchers out at NHS treatment programmes to addicts who are tested clear of drugs.
Clinical psychologist Mr Stephen Pilling from University College London, has estimated 50,000 addicts in England and Wales could recieve the vouchers.
Mr Pilling said: "I think the group, having thought it through carefully, have firmly come to the view that it provides a much better and positive way to relate to drug users than sometimes we have done in the past."

Following some public unease about how NHS money should be spent in recent years. NICE are to be legally challenged by groups angry about restrictions on drugs for Alzheimer's Disease.

Mike Trace, chief executive of the Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust said: "If you just rely on rewards for abstinence and you're not treating people's complex problems, you're not going to change the behaviour."

The Mother of a long term crack cocaine user said: "I'd rather money was spent on drug treatment centres, where people could be helped immediately. That's where the money should go - not giving them vouchers for food, clothes or shopping."

Q. Should the NHS start handing out shopping vouchers to drug addicts as an incentive to keep clean?

To view the results go to:

1 comment:

Guthrum said...

Its just a case of a sticking plaster, to say they are thinking about it - no doubt we will be urged to have 'a national debate' shortly