This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

Local authorities urged to engage with pharmacies on drug addiction


Local authorities urged to engage with pharmacies on drug addiction

The National Pharmacy Association’s director of corporate affairs Gareth Jones has urged local authorities in England given an extra £421 million by the government for drug and alcohol treatment to engage with community pharmacies so they can help improve services to patients.

Insisting pharmacies have “a long track record of helping people with addiction problems,” Jones (pictured) issued a timely reminder to local government that the community pharmacy setting is “accessible and non-stigmatising” and has a crucial part to play in ensuring people receive treatment.

“This new investment is a fresh opportunity for local authorities to engage local pharmacies as part of the wide team across health and social care, to address heath inequalities,” he said.

The Department of Health and Social Care said the funds will create more than 50,000 “high-quality places in drug and alcohol treatment,” allowing authorities to take on more staff to work with people struggling with drug and alcohol problems, support more people leaving prison to take up treatment, improve the quality of treatment and help people end addictions that cause them to commit crime.

The government said the money will go towards “a wide range of substances” such as prescription drugs, cannabis, powder cocaine and ecstasy.

However, Jones said the extra £421 million “goes only some of the way to make up for cuts in drug and alcohol services over many years” and warned locally commissioned pharmacy drug and alcohol schemes across the country have disappeared.

The government said £154.3 million will be made available during 2023 and 2024 and around £266.7 million from 2024 to 2025, building on £95.4 million it said was provided for 2022-2023. Altogether, 151 local authorities will receive a share of the extra money.

Copy Link copy link button


Stay up to date with all the news, learning and insight in the world of pharmacy.