We received a Freedom of Information request asking for information relating to alcohol being more dangerous than drugs.
We released the following information on 14 December 2010:
The misuse of illicit drugs and alcohol are closely linked and best treated in a way that will tackle the totality of the dependency. The drug strategy and the Ministry of Justice green paper, ‘Breaking the cycle: effective punishment, rehabilitation and sentencing of offenders’, aims to bring together the treatment response for drugs and alcohol. The focus is on those activities where a joint drugs and alcohol approach is appropriate and a more holistic approach with drugs and alcohol problems being assessed and tackled alongside other issues such as child protection, mental health, employment and housing.
Some who are dependent on alcohol may also face similar challenges in terms of recovery to those who are dependent on drugs. Specialist treatment providers are often one and the same, the strategy therefore looks to take a more holistic approach.
In addition, alcohol dependence is a significant problem for many people in drug treatment and they would be best treated in a way that will tackle the totality of the dependency.
The government believes the drug classification system works, but we do not think it is a suitable mechanism for regulating legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco which are controlled through other means.
More thank half of people in England drink once a week or less, but almost 10 million adults drink too much, with potentially lethal health consequences, as well as costing the NHS around £2.7bn a year.
In future, communities will have the power and the budget to put in place services that work for them locally. The government wants to see doctors working with local authorities to have a bigger impact on people’s health.