This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons by Theresa May and in the House of Lords by Lord Taylor of Holbeach.
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May): The government has accepted the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to allow for the lawful provision of foil by drug treatment providers subject to the strict condition that it is part of structured efforts to get people into treatment and off drugs.
The government’s 2010 Drug Strategy, Reducing demand, restricting supply, building recovery: supporting people to live a drug-free life is ambitious in its aims and takes a balanced approach. At its core is recovery – enabling individuals to live free from drug dependency, enabling them to re-build their lives and address the criminality and health issues associated with drug abuse.
The available evidence shows that the provision of foil can encourage people to take their first steps into treatment, reducing the immediate harm and facilitating the onward journey towards recovery and abstinence. By lawfully providing foil under strict conditions, we also tackle the significant health risks associated with injecting behaviours, including the transmission of dangerous blood borne viruses.
The government will introduce legislation to ensure foil is only offered by drug treatment providers as part of structured efforts to get individuals into treatment, on the road to recovery and off of drugs. We will also put in place mechanisms to carefully monitor and evaluate take-up, implementation and adherence to the conditionality over the next year.