HC Deb 13 February 1967 vol 741 cc91-2
24. Mr. Fisher

asked the Minister of Health whether he will introduce aftercare facilities for drug addicts when they have left hospital after taking a course of treatment.

Mr. K. Robinson

I accept the need to improve facilities for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, including their aftercare, and propose to issue guidance as soon as possible.

Mr. Fisher

Do not people tend rather to drift back into the same environment which first introduced them to drugs after they have had their treatment? If so, would not after-care hospitals be a real help during the few months following treatment?

Mr. Robinson

Yes, I would generally agree with the hon. Member. It seems necessary to provide in a form acceptable to the addict a fairly long period of psychiatric supervision, social support and suitable employment. Although this is easier said than done, there is need for experiment by hospital authorities and local authorities, including hostels for addicts.

Mr. Braine

In this connection does the right hon. Gentleman accept the working party recommendation that there should be panels of specially licensed doctors to whom addicts could go after being at treatment centres?

Mr. Robinson

I should be grateful if the hon. Member would put that question on the Order Paper because I am considering, before issuing guidance, a number of representations from various quarters.