£421 million of funding for drug and alcohol treatment is announced
The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that local authorities across England will get financial support to combat drug and alcohol misuse. Areas most in need will be prioritised.
“The extra funding means that total local authority funding for treatment will have increased 40% between 2020 to 2021 and 2024 to 2025. It will enable the creation of over 50,000 high-quality places in drug and alcohol treatment.”GOV.UK
Why is this additional funding for drug and alcohol treatment important?
This will help improve the quality of treatment and reduce dependency. The government hopes that the funding will help reduce drug use to a 30-year low.
‘Drug misuse has a massive cost to society – more than 3,000 people died as a result of drug misuse in 2021,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay.
How will the monetary support be spent?
The funding will be allocated to different councils in England to 151 local authorities in these authorities. It will be split between £154.3 million for 2023/2024; and £266.7 million for 2024/2025.
This will be based on the rate of drug deaths, deprivation, opiate and crack cocaine prevalence, and crime – taking into account the size of the treatment population.
Local authorities are expected to use the funding to recruit more staff to help people with substance misuse problems and invest in enhancing the quality of treatment they provide.
More people will benefit from inpatient detoxification/residential rehabilitation, and there will also be improvements to the recovery services to continue supporting them once their treatment is over.
Drug and alcohol testing can be a vital tool in the identification of those needing treatment and support;
- Early identification of people in need
Testing can be used to identify people misusing substances
- Monitor whether the program is working
Repeat testing can be used to track whether misusers are reducing their use/abstaining
- Hair Testing could be used to assess patterns of misuse
This could be used to help decide the course of treatments
What the health minister says about additional funding
These resources will be welcome as substance misuse (including alcohol) has increased dramatically during/since the pandemic. “The funding will help improve the quality and capacity of drug and alcohol recovery services right across the country. It will help more people access the support they need, saving lives and benefiting communities.” – Health Minister Neil O’Brien.
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