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Alcohol & Other Drugs

Cranstoun welcomes the new Drug Strategy as a ‘step in the right direction’ 

Posted on: 8 December, 2021

Government’s new 10 year drug strategy was released on Monday 6th December.

Cranstoun have welcomed the extra £780m for the treatment system, particularly after years of cuts to treatment and supporting services and for a more sustainable period of 3 years. In the detail of the strategy, there is a recognition and delivery of the recommendations set out by the Dame Carol Black report which we welcome as a step in the right direction.

We are pleased to see the work that Cranstoun has delivered in the diversion and criminal justice system being picked up by Government as an area of best practice. Investing in interventions at all points throughout the criminal justice system is essential to reducing cost, crime and harm. We believe that harm reduction, education and engagement have a greater impact in supporting people who use drugs.

The strategy is a step in the right direction but the rhetoric on criminalising and stigmatising people who use drugs must stop. We have the highest rates of Drug Related Deaths in Europe and a simple ‘war on drugs tactic’ has not worked for the past 50 years. This doesn’t reduce illicit drug use or support those most at need.

We believe that first and foremost, we have to start with saving lives. Cranstoun will continue to work with Government and others to champion testing drugs – not people, to call for a pilot Overdose Prevention Centre in order to support those most at risk of overdose and to champion recovery in all its forms.

Meg Jones, Director of New Business and Services said:

“We welcome the investment in substance use treatment, following the recommendations in the Dame Carol Black report. We have been delivering diversion and criminal justice interventions in areas such as the West Midlands, West Mercia and Thames Valley and are pleased to see Government recognising that this approach reduces harm, reduces cost, and reduces crime and demand to policing. This is a real move towards seeing substance use as a health issue, not a criminal justice one.

We hope that Government will continue to work with us and the wider sector on funding and support for additional measures such as Heroin Assisted Treatment, Drug Consumption Rooms and to work to reduce stigma for people who use drugs.

We recognise that drug use can be a politically charged issue, we will continue to work cross-party to deliver evidence-informed practical solutions to reduce drug related deaths and associated harms. We call on all politicians to work with us to listen and be driven by the evidence from across the world”

Read the full strategy, From Harm to Hope.

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