Local Authorities share £267m to improve drug treatment and recovery
Local authorities in England will share £267 million in government funding in April next year to improve drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services.
The Department of Health and Social Care said it hoped the money will help reduce crime by improving access to treatment as part of its 10-year strategy to drive down levels of drug use to a 30-year low.
The DHSC also said the funding will allow local authorities to recruit “more specialised staff to work with people with drug and alcohol problems,” help more prison leavers access treatment and recovery services, reduce crime by giving more people “structured drug and alcohol treatment” and improve the quality of treatment.
“More people will benefit from residential rehabilitation or inpatient detoxification, while improvements to the recovery services will sustain people’s treatment and help to reduce relapse rates,” the DHSC said, adding the money is on top of £421 million in additional investment it has made available for drug and alcohol treatment since April 2022.
It said parts of the country “with the highest need”, based on the number of drug-related deaths, deprivation, opiate and crack cocaine prevalence and crime, as well as “the size of the treatment population,” will be prioritised when it comes to receiving the new money.
The funding, the DHSC said, will be available for “a wide range of substances” such as heroin, crack, powder cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.
Professor Dame Carol Black, an independent adviser to the government on combating drug misuse whose review in 2020 concluded that boosting the capacity of the treatment and recovery system was the best way to cut down drug-related crime including homicide, said: “A key aim of my report was to make sure vulnerable people with substance misuse problems can access the support and tools needed to recover and lead full lives.
“(The) allocations of almost £267 million will go directly to local authorities and their partners, meaning they can deliver treatment that is tailored to meet local needs.
“The end goal is to get many people into world-class recovery and treatment system, reduce drug use and drug related crime and ultimately save lives.”