Council leaders have welcomed a Government announcement of additional funding for local areas to tackle drug dependency as an ‘important step forward’.
Communities in England most affected by drug-related crime and addiction will receive over £300m of additional funding over the next three years to strengthen treatment and recovery services, the Department of Health and Social Care announced yesterday.
‘This is a significant step in our commitment to rebuild the drug treatment system, save lives and level up the country,’ said health and social care secretary, Sajid Javid.
‘We’re investing a record amount in treatment services and ensuring some of the most deprived areas in England are first in line for this funding, to support the most vulnerable by cutting drug use.’
The year 2022 to 2023 will see 50 local authorities receive a share of the funding. The initial councils assessed as having the greatest need to combat illicit drugs, include areas in County Durham, Leeds, Birmingham and Devon.
Responding to the announcement, Cllr Louise Gittins, vice-chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Community Wellbeing Board said: ‘This funding is an important step forward in helping to support councils in addressing drug dependency in their local communities and is something the LGA has long been calling for.
‘People with drug and alcohol problems should be able to get the right support and treatment when they need it. For many problem users, their first experience of treatment is the catalyst for getting the help they need to address their physical and mental health problems.
‘Councils want to see vulnerable people being given another chance to find work, rebuild relationships and find safe and secure accommodation and will work with partners to improve the life chances of those impacted by drug addiction.’