mai mercado by flemming leitorp addiction rehabThe Minister of Social Affairs enters the debate on the municipalities’ addiction efforts

Recently, Politiken has put a sharp focus on shortcomings within the addiction efforts in the municipalities, as a number of professionals and organizations criticize the handling of help to vulnerable citizens with drug abuse challenges. The debate includes cuts in day-care places and the fact that more day-care institutions will have to turn their backs if the trend continues in this direction. In addition, there has been a focus on gaps in aftercare for people who have been treated for substance misuse, and that the quality of services varies widely between municipalities.

In Politiken on 29/6-17, Minister of Social Affairs Mai Mercado entered the debate, and at Alfa-Fredensborg we are pleased that the Minister takes the concerns seriously and actively responds to the criticism. The Minister states “… I am of course surprised that day treatment has been cut so dramatically, when research indicates that it is clearly the most effective means of getting addicts off drugs.” Mercado wants to start a discussion with municipalities about these challenges, and puts a strong emphasis on doing what works in addiction treatment.

Alfa-Fredensborg’s director Jørgen Maltesen hopes that the minister will put his words into action and believes that the criticism is real: “Unfortunately, we see too often that citizens with massive drug addiction come so late in day treatmentthat they are so burdened and exhausted after years in outpatient services that have not had the necessary effect. He says: “We have a lot of experience in helping these troubled citizens, who other treatment services have not been able to get on track, and helping them to become productive members of society.”

Alfa-Fredensborg has itself experienced in 2014-2015 how the municipalities’ downgrading of day treatment was a tremendous financial burden. Today, however, many municipalities have realised that our 24-hour service is effective, especially for vulnerable citizens, and there is a great demand for our treatment. “At the moment, we are launching a study on the effect of the 24-hour treatment at Alfa-Fredensborg, as this is often referred to as missing in the addiction debate,” says Jørgen Maltesen.

The latest addition to Alfa-Fredensborg is the close cooperation with AlfaRehab. This effort allows us to meet the resident at exactly the level of dependency they are at. In this way, we ensure that citizens in the Copenhagen area do not lack the necessary aftercare when they return after 24-hour treatment.

Alfa-Fredensborg detoxifies and stabilises citizens from all over the country and collaborates with many different aftercare services.

Read our previous blog post on SFI’s latest addiction research showing that residential treatment is a good investment Residential treatment is more effective than outpatient treatment

The debate can be followed here

Treatment centres risk closure after municipalities’ financial cuts

A former addict tells of her struggle to get the right help

The street lawyers have joined the case and the many closed treatment places