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UK announces ‘largest ever increase’ in funding for drug treatment

A world-leading treatment system will be developed for those dependent on drugs and support them to kick their addictions, prioritising areas with the greatest need…reports Asian Lite News.

Communities all across England will receive the largest ever funding boost for drug treatment services to help people and reduce crime on our streets, under a new strategy published on Monday.

The money will go towards improving access to treatment and increasing the capacity of services, helping to reverse the upward trend in drug use and level up by tackling this major driver of crime, which we know disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable and poorest communities.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a police briefing before going on a police drugs raid by Merseyside police in Liverpool. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

The government’s new strategy to tackle drugs, sets out a bold, long-term vision for the next decade. It is designed to cut crime and reduce both the supply and demand for drugs by getting more people into treatment, breaking the cycle of crime driven by addiction and keeping drug-related violence out of neighbourhoods across the country.

The strategy is backed by a new investment of almost £780 million for treatment – the largest ever increase – bringing total spending on drug enforcement and treatment to more than £3 billion over the next three years.

A world-leading treatment system will be developed for those dependent on drugs and support them to kick their addictions, prioritising areas with the greatest need.

Over the next three years, all local authorities will receive new money for treatment and recovery with the 50 local authorities in greatest need receiving this first to ensure that better access to treatment is fast tracked for the poorest and most vulnerable.

Illegal drugs carry a cost to the taxpayer of nearly £20 billion every year and almost half of all burglaries and robberies are committed by the 300,000 heroin and cocaine addicts in England with whole communities forced to endure the misery these cause.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said, “This is a huge moment which will not only save lives but help level up the country. We’re investing a record amount into treatment services with money to break the cycle of drug use and to support communities by cutting the drug use which drives crime. Treatment services are just one part of the comprehensive strategy which includes helping people back to work, into permanent housing, and cracking down on supply.”

To cut crime and reduce drug related deaths and harms over the next three years, the government plans to increase and improve treatment services to reduce harm and improve recovery rates significantly. This will mean more people receiving better quality treatment, including developing and expanding the treatment workforce, helping to prevent crime.

Improve offender drug treatment across the Prisons and Probation Service in England and Wales to get more offenders engaged in treatment, including mandatory and voluntary testing regimes in prison, support for prisoners to engage with community treatment ahead of their release and increasing the use of intensive Drug Rehabilitation Requirements for those on community sentences. This will help cut crime as those receiving treatment for their addiction are known to be half as likely to reoffend.

Increased housing support and access to treatment for those at risk of sleeping rough.

Roll out individual employment support across all Local Authorities in England by 2025 based on effective existing models to help people in recovery to get a job by supporting them to be ready for work and helping them to find a job that is right for them.

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