The number of drug addicts going into specialist treatment services has soared by 27% from 125,500 to more than 160,050 in the past year, according to figures published by the National Treatment Agency yesterday.

They confirm the rapid expansion of drug treatment services in Britain, from 650 in 2003-4 to 850 in 2004-5. But a breakdown of the 53,000 addicts who left treatment courses in the last year shows that nearly half had dropped out or left and only 29% could be described as "successful completions".

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