Government announces funding for drug treatment services

Drug treatment services across the country will receive an extra £95.2 million this year, under new plans announced by the government.

The Department of Health, supported by £22 million of funding from the Home Office, will provide Drug Action Teams with £394.6 million - an increase of over 30% from last year.

The funding will be used to invest in personnel, day-to-day running of services, and building and refurbishment of premises, with the aim of getting more people into treatment and away from a life of drugs and crime.

Drug Action Teams will also be able to bid for a portion of a further £54.9 million, for the development of inpatient and residential rehabilitation services in 2007/2008.

According to government figures, more than 160,000 individuals made contact with treatment services during 2004/05 - an increase of 89% on 1998 figures.

The percentage of those staying in or successfully completing treatment also increased to 75% during that period, compared to 72% in 2003/2004.

Commenting on the funding, Public Health Minister Caroline Flint said: "This funding will help to provide a life away from drugs for the user and a new future for families, friends and communities affected by the impact of drug addiction.

"Record amounts of funding have already resulted in record number of people entering and staying in treatment. Thousands of people are now free from addiction, and in communities across the country drug-related crime is falling.

"But there is still room for improvement. We have succeeded in widening access to services and now we must concentrate on improving the effectiveness of drug treatment. Today's announcement of an increase in funding underlines our commitment to take on this challenge."

Martin Barnes, Chief Executive of DrugScope, said: "Investment in drug treatment is proven to be very cost-effective and brings substantial benefits to communities, families and individuals. This increase in funding should be welcomed and supported."


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