- Record £ 780million to rebuild drug treatment system
- Investment underpins new 10-year strategy released today to tackle the drug scourge and prevent crime
- Each local authority in England will receive additional funding to tackle drug and alcohol abuse over the next three years, areas that need it most will first receive additional funding
Communities across England will receive the largest ever funding increase in drug treatment services to help people and reduce crime on our streets, as part of a new strategy released today .
The money will be used to improve access to treatment and increase the capacity of services, thereby helping to reverse the trend of increasing drug use and ramp up in tackling this main driver of crime, which we know disproportionately affects the most vulnerable and poorest communities.
The government’s new drug strategy presents a bold, long-term vision for the next decade. It is designed to reduce crime and reduce both drug supply and demand by bringing more people into treatment, breaking the cycle of drug-induced crime, and preventing drug-related violence. to drug neighborhoods across the country.
The strategy is supported by a new investment of nearly £ 780million in treatment – the biggest increase on record – bringing total spending on drugs and treatment to more than £ 3 billion in the over the next three years.
A state-of-the-art treatment system will be developed for drug addicts and will help them get rid of their addictions, prioritizing those areas that need it most.
Over the next three years, all local authorities will receive new funding for treatment and recovery, the 50 local authorities who need it most will receive it first to ensure better access to treatment for the poorest and most vulnerable. vulnerable.
Illegal drugs cost the taxpayer nearly £ 20 billion each year and nearly half of all burglaries and thefts are committed by the 300,000 heroin and cocaine addicts in England, with entire communities forced to endure the misery they cause.
Health and Social Affairs Secretary Sajid Javid said:
It 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 to help people return to work, find permanent housing and crack down on supply.
To reduce crime and reduce drug-related deaths and harm over the next three years, the government:
- Increase and improve treatment services to reduce damage and dramatically improve cure rates. This will mean that more people will benefit from better quality treatment, including by developing and expanding the treatment workforce, thereby helping to prevent crime.
- Improve drug treatment for offenders in prisons and the probation service in England and Wales to bring more offenders into treatment, including compulsory and voluntary testing schemes in prison, inmate support for that they engage in community treatment prior to their release and increased intensive drug use Rehabilitation requirements for those sentenced to community sentences. This will help reduce crime, as people who receive treatment for their addiction are half as likely to reoffend.
- Increased housing support and access to treatment for people at risk of sleeping rough.
- Roll out one-on-one employment support to all local authorities in England by 2025 based on effective existing models to help recovering people find employment by helping them prepare for work and helping them to find a job that suits them.
- Investment to implement employment support, including a peer mentoring program for people with drug or alcohol abuse.
Dame Carol Black, whose independent drug review helped shape the strategy, will monitor and advise on the progress of the strategy with the government producing an annual update.
Professor Dame Carol Black said:
A huge human tragedy surrounds the lives of people addicted to drugs. This investment will transform addiction treatment services, providing people with high quality treatment and recovery supports.
Therefore, I am delighted that the government is making this very important investment in drug treatment and recovery services, alongside the funds allocated to combat the drug supply. Investing in improving housing supports and job opportunities is just as essential, as people need hope, purpose and practical action to help them build a better future.
With this strategy comes high expectations and I look forward to advising the central unit and relevant government departments to ensure a radical change in treatment, recovery and prevention.
The role of the Health and Justice Partnership Coordinators, who act as the liaison between prisons, probation services and care providers, will be extended to cover all regions of England and Wales. This means that prison and community services are better integrated and treatment plans for offenders remain consistent, helping them stay on track and break the cycle of recidivism once and for all.
A pilot project will test a new approach to how courts treat offenders with a history of drug abuse, where they will be seen regularly by the same judge, who has the power to order a number of penalties and inducements, such as than mandatory drug testing. Currently, only those offenders who agree to undergo treatment programs are eligible for regular testing. It is hoped that this new approach will increase treatment adherence and deter offenders from returning to drugs because, if they test positive, they could violate their order and could be sentenced to jail.
The strategy also includes an investment of £ 300million to crack down on supply chains and criminal gangs profiting from the illegal drug trade. This will go towards action for:
- Dismantle more than 2,000 county lines – which are used to deliver drugs and often involve the recruitment of children – and make thousands more arrests.
- Carry out 6,400 disruptions against the activities of organized criminals to reduce illegal drug trafficking.
- Invest up to £ 145million in the County Lines program, continuing to bring line holders to justice, targeting road and rail networks, protecting the exploited and helping them rebuild their lives.
Drugs Minister Kit Malthouse said:
Drugs degrade society – they spur crime, destroy families, and the use of illegal drugs claims more lives each year than all stabbings and traffic accidents combined.
That is why today we are building our 10 Year Plan to help drive drugs out of our towns and cities and ensure that those trapped with drug addiction get the help they so badly need.
This is a record level of investment that will bring our total spending on drugs, treatment and recovery to over £ 3 billion over the next three years – but more importantly, it will change the lives of millions of people affected by this poison.
To achieve a generational shift in the demand for illegal drugs, additional measures will be taken to:
- Invest £ 15million over 3 years to roll out drug tests in an arrest by the police forces in England and Wales.
- Invest £ 5million in an innovation fund to develop a world-class evidence base to better understand what works to change attitudes towards drug use.
- Invest £ 9million in Tough Consequences’ extrajudicial elimination program, which will ensure that more people who use illegal drugs receive a relevant and proportionate consequence. This will deter people from using drugs with a range of potential civil penalties that could include fines, curfews or, in the most exceptional cases, the temporary removal of driver’s licenses or passports.