Demand for drug and alcohol treatment rises across Leeds as alcohol-related deaths hit ‘highest in 15 years’


Leeds is set to receive millions to improve drug and alcohol treatment and recovery across the city as services see an increase in demand.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities has awarded Leeds City Council £2.8million over the next three years so it can deliver improved addictions treatment and intervention. The grant will be used to invest in Forward Leeds, a drug and alcohol service.

Forward Leeds have seen a growing need for their services, and the money should help fill the gap.

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Forward Leeds works across the city with adults and young people. He manages prevention programs, early interventions as well as tailor-made recovery programs.

It is commissioned by Leeds Council and is one of the largest drug and alcohol services in England. There are three hubs in the city and a recovery center.

Councilor Salma Arif, Executive Council Member for Public Health and Active Living, said: “The increased funding for drug and alcohol treatment and recovery is great news for Leeds. It will increase the quality and capacity of drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery services in the city.

“This investment will mean that services will be better able to support people and communities in Leeds who struggle with or are affected by substance use.”

In 2020, alcohol-related deaths in Leeds hit a 15-year high. In 2020, 113 people died from alcohol, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. 2020 has also seen an increase in hospital admissions for alcoholic liver disease in West Yorkshire.

Victoria Eaton, Director of Public Health for Leeds City Council, said: “Drug and alcohol use affects individuals and their families and poses a significant challenge to our communities across Leeds. Forward Leeds do vital work to help and support individuals to achieve and maintain recovery from drug and alcohol use.

“This new investment is significant and will strengthen what is already one of the most successful drug and alcohol services in England, ensuring those who need it get the right support, at the right time, according to the highest standards.”

Anyone struggling with drugs or alcohol is encouraged to contact Forward Leeds here.

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