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An innovative new approach to offer help to those addicted to drugs or alcohol could be offered in Portsmouth. It would see the council only pay if a client successfully completed rehabilitation and went into permanent employment.

The proposal is for the council to commit a maximum of £100,000 to the social impact bond (SIB) pilot. This would see 12 clients go through a new longer residential rehabilitation programme which would support them to come off drugs and alcohol and find long-term employment.

The initial focus for this pilot would be drug or alcohol users who have a history of homelessness or offending behaviour as this would provide the greatest benefit for the whole community and is the group that current rehabilitation methods are struggling to help.

In this new approach, clients will stay in rehabilitation for longer. This includes the initial residential detox phase and subsequent supported housing. This has been shown to increase the likelihood of someone being able to successfully abstain from substances long-term. It will also offer better value for money compared with our existing rehabilitation offer.

Funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sports has been received to help run this pilot. If it is effective at helping people to become drug free and productive members of the community, then there is the longer term option to re-direct current resources to offer more of this type of treatment.

This pilot will run from current residential rehabilitation providers in the South East.

Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care; said, "It's important to continue to look at new ways to help residents who are addicted to substances, particularly for those who have complex needs. We know that drug and alcohol addiction doesn't just affect the one individual but has an impact on the much wider community. I look forward to discussing this proposal further."