Revolutionised treatment services and a drugs trade crack down are the focus of a new government approach launched today.
In a major policy shift, the ambitious new drug strategy puts more responsibility on individuals to seek help and overcome their dependency.
Key elements of the new approach, launched by crime prevention minister James Brokenshire, are:
- taking more action to seize assets of those involved in the drugs trade, at home and abroad
- giving teachers greater powers to search and confiscate drugs and alcohol in schools
- creating a support network of ‘recovery champions’ who have conquered their own addiction
Meanwhile, power to tackle drugs problems will be passed to local partnerships which will be responsible for designing and commissioning services that meet the needs of their communities.
No quick fixes
Mr Brokenshire said: ‘Drugs ruin lives and cause misery to families and communities across the country. There are no quick fixes, what we want to achieve is a generational shift, to get people to take responsibility for their actions and free themselves from the vicious cycle of drug and alcohol dependency.
‘Today’s message is clear, simply focusing on reducing the harms cause by illicit drug use is no longer enough - we must focus on recovery as the most effective route out of dependency.
‘We will also tighten the net on unscrupulous drug dealers, introduce temporary banning orders to allow us to take immediate action against new legal highs, protect vulnerable young people by preventing them from falling into a cycle of dependency, and encourage record numbers into treatment.’
New support approach
The strategy also sets out a new approach to supporting people, not just through treatment, but also by addressing offending, employment and housing issues, all of which are closely linked to drug or alcohol abuse.