27/02/2008

Government Announces New Drugs Strategy

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has unveiled the Government's new 10-year drugs strategy.

The new £1 billion strategy includes plans to extend police powers to seize drug dealers' cash and assets on arrest, rather than conviction; make drug users who receive benefits be assessed by a specialist treatment provider to help them get into treatment and back into work; and provide family-friendly services to protect more young people and families affected by drug use.

Ms Smith said: "Illegal drug use is unacceptable. It wastes lives, destroys families and damages communities. While drug use is at an 11-year low and drug-related crime has fallen by a fifth in the last five years, I am well aware we are dealing with a formidable social problem.

"The Government's ambition is clear. We want to see fewer people start using drugs and for our society to be free from the problems caused by drugs. We want those who do use drugs to enter and finish treatment and move on to lead healthy, drug-free lives. We want communities to be free of drug-related crime and we want to see tough enforcement of the law.

"We will continue to send a clear message that drug use is unacceptable; that we are on the side of communities; that we demand respect for the law and will not tolerate illegal or anti-social behaviour; but we will provide help for those who are trying to turn their lives around, to get off drugs and into work, to ensure drug problems are not handed on to the next generation; and that we expect drug users themselves to take responsibility, and will help them to do so."

(KMcA)


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