Enabling long term recovery from addiction

Published: 14 October 2012

This report presents our hypothesis on how a social impact bond (SIB) could help improve outcomes for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. 

Social Finance worked with Dr Samantha Gross and Professor John Strang from the National Addiction Centre to understand how recovery from addiction could be measured as part of a social investment contract. This report sets out ways of measuring successful recovery from substance addiction. Each measure of success needs to reflect the end goal of sustained recovery over the long term.

A Social Impact Bond is a contract in which government commits to pay investors if there is an improvement in social outcomes (such as a reduction in offending rates). Investors receive returns if, and only if, these social outcomes are achieved. Investors’ money is used to pay for a range of services to help people recover from their addiction. If outcomes are improved and more people recover, investors receive payments from government.

For success to be paid for, it must first be defined and measured. 

This report offers thoughts on what those measures of success should be. It aims to provide the starting point for a discussion of potential outcome metrics to structure an investment proposition.

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