ACMD: “Funding cuts are the single biggest threat to drug treatment recovery outcomes”

Blenheim welcomes the report released today (6 September 2017) by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) warning ministers of the impact of falling local funding for drug treatment services.

The ACMD, which advises the government on drugs of misuse and their harmful effects, found that maintaining funding of drug treatment services is essential to preventing drug-related death and drug-driven crime in communities.

John Jolly, Blenheim CEO, said:

“As CEO of Blenheim I have been raising the threat and impact of funding cuts in the drug treatment sector for over 5 years. So I am pleased that it is finally being recognised as ‘short-sighted and a catalyst for disaster’. We hope that the Government implements the recommendations made in the report and recognises the detrimental effects of cuts and frequent commissioning cycles.

We are particularly concerned about the cuts in young peoples services given the increased use of NPS and for the first time in almost a generation some early signs of a potential wave of heroin use within young people. Some of our services who over the last 5-10 years would rarely see a young person using heroin now report it as a regular occurrence.”

The ACMD report makes a number of recommendations including:

  • drug and alcohol misuse services should be mandated within local authority budgets and/or the commissioning of drug and alcohol treatment placed within NHS commissioning structures
  • transparency and clearer financial reporting on local drug misuse treatment services should be increased in order to challenge local disinvestment or falls in treatment penetration
  • the drug misuse treatment workforce should be reviewed to strike a balance of qualified and unqualified staff and volunteers required for effective drug misuse treatment services
  • links between local healthcare services and local drug treatment systems should be strengthened
  • commissioning contracts should be five to ten years in length
  • research infrastructure and capacity within the drugs misuse field should be addressed

Download the full report here.


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