£ 533million pledged to ‘rebuild’ drug treatment services

The government is due to provide £ 533million over the next three years to ‘rebuild’ the drug treatment services commissioned by the council in England.

The boards welcomed the increased funding, but said it was also essential to invest in other services that help prevent problems from arising.

The investment is part of a new ten-year government drug strategy released yesterday – formed in response to Dame Carol Black’s independent drug review. The strategy includes a total of £ 780million investment in drug treatment, which the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC) says is the ‘biggest funding increase ever’ for these. services.

Funds will be allocated to improve access to treatment and increase the capacity of services, with the aim of reversing a recent upward trend in drug use.

For 2021-2022, the government has made £ 80million available for drug treatment on top of the existing public health grant. The new announcement continues for the next three years, while adding an additional £ 293million over the same period.

All local authorities will receive additional new funding for treatment and recovery, the strategy says. The 50 local authorities in the ‘greatest need’ – based on high levels of drug use, drug-related deaths and crime – will receive this funding in 2022-2023, followed by another 50 in each of the months. next two years, “leading to coverage throughout England”.

DHSC will also work with local authorities, the Association of Local Governments, and the Association of Public Health Directors (ADPH) to develop and implement a service quality standard to support transparency and accountability between partners providing services and government.

The government will also work with the LGA to offer improvement support to boards in areas with the lowest results.

A health source close to local government told LGC the announcement was “good news” after the £ 1bn cut in public health budgets since 2015 and an “admission that they had been cut too deep “.

Responding to the strategy, David Fothergill (Con), chairman of the board of the LGA for Community Wellbeing, said: “People with drug and alcohol problems should be able to get the right support. when they need it, which is what this comprehensive strategy aims to achieve. “

“The councils, which are responsible for public health, share this ambition and want vulnerable people to be given another chance to find work, renew relationships and find safe and secure housing. “

“Increasing direct funding for substance abuse treatment and recovery is helpful in meeting growing demand, but we also need to see significant investments in services that help prevent problems before they arise, such as housing, youth services, mental health and children’s services, ”he said.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is a huge moment that will not only save lives, but help level the country.

“We are investing a record amount in treatment services with cash to break the cycle of drug use and to support communities by reducing drug use that leads to crime.

“Treatment services are only part of the overall strategy that includes helping people return to work, find permanent housing and tackle supply. “

Drugs Minister Kit Malthouse said: “Drugs degrade society – they lead to crime, destroy families and the use of illegal drugs kills more people every year than all stab wounds and road accidents combined.

“That’s why today we’re setting out our 10-year plan to help drive drugs out of our towns and villages and ensure those trapped with drug addiction get the help they badly need.” . “