£421m boost to addiction treatment in England

The UK government has announced an additional £421 million in funding to local authorities across England for drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery. The funding, which will be available until 2025, marks a 40% increase in local authority funding for treatment between 2020/21 and 2024/25.

It will provide over 50,000 high-quality places for drug and alcohol treatment, recruit more staff, and invest in improving the quality of treatment, which will help make the streets safer by getting people out of addictions that often lead to offending.

151 local authorities across England will be allocated funding to increase the quality and capacity of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services. The funding includes £154.3 million for 2023/2024 and indicative funding of £266.7 million for 2024/2025. The government’s drug strategy, which was published in December 2021, aims to increase the capacity of treatment and recovery services as part of a whole-system approach to tackling supply and demand.

The additional investment in treatment and recovery over the first three years of the strategy is estimated to prevent nearly 1,000 drug-related deaths and reverse the upward trend in drug deaths for the first time in a decade.

The funding is prioritized for areas with the highest need based on the rate of drug deaths, deprivation, opiate and crack cocaine prevalence, and crime, taking into account the size of the treatment population.

The government is also working to clamp down on criminal gangs that profit from the trade in illegal drugs, with £300 million invested to dismantle over 2,000 county lines, make thousands more arrests, and protect those being exploited. The government’s commitment to improving treatment and recovery services is expected to help cut crime, improve the quality of life of those affected by addiction, and benefit communities across the country.

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