The government has announced it will invest Â£ 780million in drug treatment to break the ‘cycle of crime’ fueled by drug addiction.
The money will go to developing a “world class” system to support the recovery of people addicted to drugs, prioritizing areas that need it most, the Department of Health and Welfare said. (DHSC).
The investment is part of the government’s 10-year drugs strategy, which has also earmarked Â£ 300million to crack down on ‘county line’ gangs.
The DHSC said all local authorities in England will receive new funding for drug treatment and recovery over the next three years.
The 50 areas that need it most will receive the money first, to speed up access to treatment for the most vulnerable, he added.
Meanwhile, the government has pledged to “increase and improve treatment services” to “significantly” increase recovery rates.
He is also committed to improving drug treatment for offenders in order to reduce crime.
And he said he would increase housing support and access to treatment for people at risk of rough sleeping.
In addition, the government plans to roll out one-on-one employment support to all local authorities in England by 2025 to help people recovering find employment.
Health and Social Affairs Secretary Sajid Javid said: âThis is a huge moment that will not only save lives, but help level the country.
âWe 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.
âTreatment services are only part of the overall strategy that includes helping people return to work, find permanent housing and tackle supply. “
Dame Carol Black, whose independent drug review helped shape the strategy, will monitor and advise on its progress, DHSC said. The Government will also produce an annual update.
Dame Carol said: âA 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.
âTherefore, I am delighted that the government is making this very important investment in addiction treatment and recovery services, alongside funding allocated to combat drug supply. Investing in improving housing supports and employment 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.”
Earlier Monday, Dame Carol said bigger changes would be made by investing in recovery than in tackling criminal activity.
He was asked on BBC Radio 4’s World At One if it would make a “bigger difference” to spend money on treatment or crime.
She replied, âI’m going to say treatment and recovery because as long as there is demand, you will have supply.
âDrug traffickers are very, very good at moving their business, at doing different things, they’re good business people. So I think if you really want to tackle drugs and crime, you have to be able to provide people with high quality treatment and recovery.
âWe know from research that this puts an end to criminal activity. We know that if it is high quality treatment, people stay there and get better. And we have a broken service right now.
She added: âI thinkâ¦ I also want there to be, obviously, some Home Office activity. Of course I want it. But if you’re just doing that, we’ve been doing it for years. And we’ve been doing pretty inadequate treatment and recovery now for many years. And in some extremely poor places they deserve at least 50-50. “