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14 April 2022

With You responds to new Government funding to drug treatment services in most deprived areas

Yesterday the government announced that 50 local authorities in some of the most deprived areas in England will receive enhanced funding over the next 3 years to rebuild drug treatment services.

Commenting on the additional funding, Jon Murray, With You Director of Services for England, said:

"The rate of drug-related deaths remains at crisis levels and each death sends ripples through families and communities, with the impact continuing to be felt years down the line. It's important to remember that problematic drug use is often a reaction to people’s surroundings. Issues such as rising homelessness, poor mental health and a lack of economic opportunities in some areas can all lead to people using drugs. With this in mind, there's no surprise that drug related deaths are highest in the country's most deprived areas.

Against this backdrop, it's clear that additional funding for drug treatment services is vital. Dame Carol Black—who in her review also confirmed that problematic drug use remains highest in the country's most disadvantaged areas—made a strong ‘invest to save’ case for drug treatment, where every £1 spent on harm reduction and treatment gives a combined return on investment of £4.

The additional funding announced in the Government's new Drugs Strategy last year, including the ring-fenced investment previously announced to treatment, housing and support services, has the potential to make a huge difference to people’s lives. Each area faces their own distinct and complex challenges but what we can already say is that further funding could be used to increase the number of people who can access treatment, contribute to wider provision of Naloxone as well as improving workforce skills.

We welcome the serious political commitment to investing in treatment and look forward to working collaboratively to address these complex issues, with the compassion and support people deserve."