Drug and alcohol treatment services to get £267 million boost

By Alison Bloomer

Man Drinking a Glass of Whiskey at a Bar


The government will be providing an extra £267 million of funding next year to improve drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services.

The funding, which will be rolled out in April 2024, is part of government’s 10-year drug strategy to improve quality and access of drug and alcohol treatment by reducing drug use to a 30-year low. It is in addition to £154.3 million provided earlier this year.



The funding is for specialised staff recruitment and to support more prison leavers into treatment and recovery services. The government says more people will also benefit from residential rehabilitation or inpatient detoxification, while improvements to the recovery services will sustain people’s treatment and help to reduce relapse rates.

Health Minister Neil O’Brien added: “Drug addiction drives about half of all crimes, so by investing in high quality and greater availability of treatment we can reduce crime rates and save lives. We aim to raise the number of people getting drug and alcohol treatment to a record high by investing through the long-term investment we’ve been making over the last 3 years.

“The allocations will see £267 million go directly to local authorities and their partners to improve services, increase capacity and quality of treatment and recovery systems, and is based on the recommendations made by Dame Carol Black in her independent review.”

10-year drug strategy

From Harm to Hope, published in December 2021, sets out the government’s 10-year ambition to ensure as many people as possible can get the treatment they need by significantly increasing the number of treatment places and recovery services.

Over the first three years of the strategy, the additional investment in treatment and recovery will help prevent nearly 1,000 drug-related deaths – reversing the upward trend in drug deaths for the first time in a decade.

The strategy also sets out that illegal drug use such as heroin and crack addiction are connected to half of all homicides, and nearly half of all burglaries, robberies and other acquisitive crimes. Dame Carol Black’s independent review of drugs found the best way to tackle this issue is by boosting the capacity of the treatment and recovery system.

Professor Dame Carol Black, independent adviser to the government on combating drug misuse, said: “A key aim of my report was to make sure vulnerable people with substance misuse problems can access the support and tools needed to recover and lead full lives.

“The end goal is to get many people into world-class recovery and treatment system, reduce drug use and drug related crime – and ultimately save lives. Delivering quality treatment provision is core to recovery, and in addition to this significant investment additional grant funding has gone into accommodation and employment support.”