Economic boost for drug and alcohol treatment in England

Local authorities across England will benefit from an extra £421 million government funding to improve drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery through to 2025, the government announced.

The extra funding means the 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.

The funding will enable local authorities to:

  • recruit more staff to work with people with drug and alcohol problems
  • support more prison leavers into treatment and recovery services
  • invest in enhancing the quality of treatment they provide – in turn helping make streets safer by getting people out of the addictions which are known to drive offending

More people will benefit from residential rehabilitation or inpatient detoxification, while improvements to the recovery services will sustain them outside of treatment – helping to reduce relapse rates.

One hundred and fifty-one local authorities across England are being allocated funding to increase the quality and capacity of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services. The funding includes £154.3 million for 2023 to 2024, and indicative funding of £266.7 million for 2024 to 2025.

“This funding is prioritised for areas with the highest need, based on the rate of drug deaths, deprivation, opiate and crack cocaine prevalence and crime, taking into account of the size of the treatment population” added the government.

“Treatment will be available for a wide range of substances, including powder cocaine, ecstasy, prescription drugs and cannabis – the latter remaining the most common substance (87%) for which young people receive treatment.”

Professor Dame Carol Black, independent adviser to the government on combating drug misuse, said:

“This continued investment is very welcome, and will be crucial in supporting local authorities and their partners to increase the capacity and quality of their services for people with drug and alcohol dependence, in line with the key recommendations of my independent review of drugs.

“This will help realise the ambitions of the government’s 10-year drug strategy to deliver a world-class treatment and recovery system, reduce drug use and drug-related crime, and save lives.”