Department of Health and Social Care
Government launches second phase of independent review into drug misuse
The second part of a major independent review by Professor Dame Carol Black into the misuse of illegal drugs in England has launched today.
- Professor Dame Carol Black to lead next stage of the independent review into the misuse of drugs
- Second phase to consider the provision of treatment and recovery services for drug users, as well as a focus on how to prevent the misuse of drugs among adults and young people
- Review findings will feed into wider government work to tackle the serious harms caused by substance misuse
Building on an initial phase commissioned by the Home Office, the next stage of the review will focus on treatment, recovery and prevention. The overarching aim will be to ensure that vulnerable people with substance misuse problems get the support they need to recover and turn their lives around in the community and in prison.
The review will consider how treatment services can enable people with a drug dependency to achieve and sustain their recovery – spanning a wide range of services they may interact with across mental health, housing, employment and the criminal justice system.
Professor Dame Carol Black has been appointed to lead the review following her initial report commissioned by the Home Office, which looked at the challenges around drug supply and demand. Her initial report found that:
- drug deaths are at an all-time high
- the market has become much more violent
- drugs are costing society billions of pounds every year
Health Minister Jo Churchill said:
Drug misuse can have a tragic impact on people’s health, families and livelihoods, causing suffering to all those involved.
With drug deaths at an all-time high, we must tackle the root causes of substance misuse to improve health outcomes and prevent lives being lost needlessly.
The findings of Dame Carol’s first review set out the scale of the challenge. Now our focus must shift to ensuring the appropriate services are in place to support the treatment and recovery of drug users, as well as preventing drug use in our communities in the first place.
I look forward to receiving Dame Carol’s recommendations and working with others on the solutions.
The review will make policy recommendations to government, including around funding, as well how services are commissioned and local bodies are held accountable to ensure they are effective in preventing, treating and supporting recovery from drug problems.
Part one of the independent review found children and young people are now more likely to experiment with drugs after years of decline, and so the second phase will include a specific focus to make recommendations on prevention and treatment services for this age group.
Professor Dame Carol Black said:
I am delighted to be starting part 2 of the Independent Review of Drugs. In my foreword to part one I said that behind the thorough analysis of the market for illicit drugs that we had just completed lay a very tragic human story: about the effect on individuals, their families, youngsters caught up in the trade, and the economy.
We showed a decade-long erosion, under previous governments, in almost every aspect of drug addiction, prevention, treatment and recovery.
We now have the opportunity to correct this and build a better world. To do this many stakeholders and government departments must work together as never before.
As part of the next phase of the review, Dame Carol has launched a call for evidence and will engage with a wide range of stakeholders, including hearing from service users and people with lived experience of drug addiction to build a detailed picture of treatment, recovery and prevention.
Dame Carol will be provided with expert support from:
- Dr Ed Day, an NHS substance misuse consultant and government drug recovery champion
- Dr Keith Humphreys, a US academic and former drug policy advisor to President Obama with substantial expertise in this field and an international perspective
Dr Ed Day, NHS Consultant in Addiction Psychiatry and government drug recovery champion, said:
I look forward to working with Dame Carol Black and her team to help deliver a fully functioning recovery-orientated system of care in every community in England. This will require professionals and people with lived experience of addiction to work together to reduce the harms that drugs cause and maximise the potential of people of all ages.
Dr Keith Humphreys, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and former drug policy advisor to President Barack Obama, said:
The first part of Dame Carol Black’s review showed a deteriorating situation regarding drugs throughout the UK. This second part presents the opportunity to reverse those trends. Doing so will require a review of how health and social care for people with drug problems are organised, delivered and financed.
Dame Carol is expected to submit initial recommendations in September and her final report in December this year.
The terms of reference for the review and call for evidence will be live on GOV.UK in due course. The call for evidence will close on Thursday 30 July.
The government is already responding to Dame Carol’s findings with further investment to significantly increase the law enforcement response to county lines and the recruitment of 20,000 extra police officers over the next 3 years.
The government has pledged to address the complex challenges caused by drug misuse, with a cross-government addiction strategy due to be published in early 2021.
Latest News from
Department of Health and Social Care
Prime Minister confirms funding to prepare the NHS for winter11/08/2020 13:22:00
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the 117 Trusts allocated share of £300 million to upgrade A&E facilities.
New funding to double nursing apprentices and help deliver 50,000 more nurses11/08/2020 10:10:10
A new government package worth £172 million will help to train thousands more nursing degree apprentices.
NHS Test and Trace service to strengthen regional contact tracing10/08/2020 16:10:00
NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England will extend its partnership with local authorities to reach more people testing positive and their contacts.
Update on Randox test kits10/08/2020 13:10:00
Notification of issue relating to test kits produced by Randox laboratories. This affects the ‘Randox COVID-19 Home Testing Kit’ with the catalogue number: EV4429.
Restrictions on household gatherings to continue in parts of the north west and West Yorkshire10/08/2020 09:25:00
The current rules on social gatherings will continue in parts of the north west, West Yorkshire and Leicester, following a review of all local restrictions recently by government and local authorities.
Hot weather warning issued for parts of the country07/08/2020 10:10:10
Public Health England issues a heat-health warning as the Met Office forecasts high temperatures.
Largest testing programme for coronavirus shows virus continued to decline in June06/08/2020 14:20:00
The second monthly REACT-1 report from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI has been published, showing how the virus has spread in England.
Roll-out of 2 new rapid coronavirus tests ahead of winter04/08/2020 10:10:10
Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will be rolled out across NHS hospitals, care homes and labs from next week.