HC Deb 23 May 2002 vol 386 cc550-1W
Helen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many probation and drugs treatment services have adopted oral fluid testing for drug abuse. [58514]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

The Home Office recently issued a probation circular, (PC7/2002:Revision of National Standards of Supervision of Offenders in the Community) which notified probation areas that they were no longer required to obtain specific written authority from the Home Office to use oral fluid testing in respect of the Drug Treatment and Testing Order. Prior to this announcement, twenty-three Probation Areas had requested the use of oral fluid testing. Oral fluid testing is also currently being used in the three probation areas piloting the drug testing provisions contained in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.

Information regarding the practices of drug treatment services is not held centrally.

Mr. Stinchcombe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drug treatment or testing orders have been made which require the use of Naltrexone. [56542]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

This information is not held centrally and could not be determined except at disproportionate cost.

Dr. Francis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the economic cost of drug misuse in the last year for which figures are available. [56713]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

The University of York Centre for Criminal Justice Economics and Psychology (Culyer A, Eaton G, Godfrey C et al, 2002) has recently completed a research report for the Home Office entitled "The Economic and Social Costs of Class A Drugs Misuse in England and Wales, 2000". The report will be published as a Home Office Research Study (HORS) early to mid-summer, 2002.

Key findings from the research have been released (Home Office News Release, 12 February 2002). Annual economic costs (mainly to health service, criminal justice system and state benefits) are estimated to be between £3.7 billion and £6.8 billion. Adding social costs (mainly victim costs of crime) increases figures to between £10.9 billion and £18.8 billion. Problematic drug users account for around 99 per cent. of these costs with annual economic costs at £11,000 each compared with less than £20 for a non-problematic user.

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