The Home Secretary Amber Rudd has today launched the Government’s new Drug Strategy, to reduce illicit drug use and increase the rate of individuals recovering from drug dependence. The Home Secretary visited The Harbour, a recovery centre located in London ahead of the launch of the Drug Strategy. Karen Biggs, CEO Phoenix Futures participated in a round-table discussion with a number of representatives from partners who are integral to the delivery of the new Drug Strategy, including Cmdr Simon Bray, National policing lead on drugs; Rosanna O’Connor, Director PHE; Michael O’Toole, CEO Mentor UK; and Mike Kelleher, Consultant Psychiatrist and Addiction Specialist, Clinician lead at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.
Home office figures show that each year in the UK, drugs cost society £10.7bn in policing, healthcare and crime, with drug-fuelled theft alone costing £6 billion a year. Research shows that for every £1 spent on treatment, an estimated £2.50 is saved.
In 2015/16, 2.7 million – over 8% – of 16-59-year-olds in England and Wales took illegal drugs. This is down from 10.5% a decade ago, but new threats are emerging including new psychoactive substances such as ‘spice’, image and performance enhancing drugs, ‘chemsex’ drugs and misuse of prescribed medicines.
Phoenix welcome the new strategy that aims to confronts these threats and sets out new action to protect the most vulnerable, including the homeless, victims of domestic abuse and those with mental health issues.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd visited Phoenix’s Grace House in March this year and stated at the time
“I was delighted to visit Grace House on International Women’s Day and see the excellent work carried out by Phoenix Futures to support women recovering from substance abuse.
“Drugs and alcohol misuse can have a devastating impact on individuals, their families and the communities in which they live. That is why it is vital people have access to a range of treatment options that can be tailored to individual need, to provide the best possible chances of recovery.”