"Investing in drug prevention and treatment now will reap benefits for everyone longer-term, including for the NHS, criminal justice and other public services."
Responding to a government-commissioned review by Dame Carol Black on drug misuse and dependence which focuses on prevention, treatment and recovery, Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Councils are absolutely determined to ensure drug users get the right support and treatment, as part of their public health and other wider responsibilities and look forward to working with the Joint Combating Drugs Unit on this shared ambition.
“This includes helping vulnerable people being given another chance to find work, rebuild relationships, improve their physical and mental health and find safe and secure accommodation.
“For many drug users, especially the most entrenched, engaging in treatment is the catalyst for getting the help they need to address their physical and mental health problems.
“Funding for public health services including for drug prevention, treatment and recovery, has not kept pace with demand and councils want to continue working with government, local NHS, police, community groups and other partners to ensure everyone gets the support they need wherever possible.
“As this report states, investing in drug prevention and treatment now will reap benefits for everyone longer-term, including for the NHS, criminal justice and other public services.
“We need a closer, holistic approach which recognises that clinical services alone cannot lead to recovery, but also extra support and opportunities for drug users to gain employment, housing, mental health care and help from other agencies.”