Response to the Health and Social Care Select Committee
Drugs Policy Report
The Health and Social Care Select Committee have published their report today because they have been ‘so struck by the evidence they have received to date’ and have ‘felt compelled ‘ to publish a set of recommendations they urge the Government to implement ‘without delay’.
We are grateful to the Committee and thank them for taking such strong and urgent action to help address the public health emergency.
We are grateful for the Committee recognising the evidence we have given through our Chief Executive Karen Biggs specifically
- Cuts in funding of close to 30% have had a significant impact on the sectors ability to deliver
- Psychosocial interventions which help people change behaviour are not consistently available
- Residential rehabilitation and inpatient detox services are in sharp decline and not available to all who need them
- Stigma impacts peoples ability to access treatment and live the lives they want after treatment
- Lack of central oversight of drug treatment is limiting our ability to respond to the increase in drug related deaths
We wholeheartedly endorse the recommendations from the Committee and hope that the Government takes urgent steps to implement them.
The recommendations include
- Significant investment in drug treatment service as a matter of urgency
- Sufficient funding to also implement a range of evidence-based harm reduction initiatives
- Move to a health-based drugs policy approach that supports people to access treatment when they need it
- A review of commissioning of drug treatment services
- Active consideration of the establishment of a central drugs policy agency which would be responsible for funding and directly drug treatment services but also coordinating the multiple strands of drug policy