Department of Health and Social Care
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Government to improve drug treatment in most deprived areas

50 local authorities in some of the most deprived areas in England will receive enhanced funding over the next three years to rebuild drug treatment services

  • All local authorities will receive additional funding as part of the Drugs Strategy’s record £780 million investment to rebuild the drug treatment & recovery system
  • Additionally, 50 of most deprived areas in England will receive significantly more funding in 22/23 to enhance their drug and alcohol treatment services
  • Record levels of funding will help achieve government’s 10 year strategy to tackle drug crime, boost treatment and level up the country
  • Enhancing existing Project ADDER sites to increase engagement with rehabilitation, treatment and recovery services

Communities in England most affected by drug related crime and addiction will receive over £300 million of additional funding over the next three years to strengthen treatment and recovery services.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid has today (Wednesday 13 April) announced the first 50 local authorities across England to receive extra funding which will go towards improving access to drug and alcohol addiction treatment and increasing the capacity of services. This will help to reverse the upward trend in drug use by tackling this major driver of crime which disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable and poorest communities.

All of England will benefit from an uplift in funding for their treatment and recovery services, with the first 50 local authorities receiving enhanced funding in 2022/23.

This is part of the largest ever investment in drug treatment and recovery services announced in December, with £780 million over 3-years in addition to what is invested in drug and alcohol treatment from the Public Health Grant - to help drug users access treatment and reduce crime within communities as part of the new 10-year Drug Strategy. It is significant step towards meeting the ambitions in the strategy, to prevent nearly 1,000 drug-related deaths, deliver 54,500 new high-quality treatment places and prevent a quarter of a million crimes, and towards achieving Dame Carol Black’s vision for world-class drug treatment and recovery systems.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said:

This is a significant step in our commitment to rebuild the drug treatment system, save lives and level up the country.

We’re investing a record amount in treatment services and ensuring some of the most deprived areas in England are first in line for this funding, to support the most vulnerable by cutting drug use.

Treatment is just one element of our far-reaching strategy to better rehabilitate drug users – whether it’s helping people get jobs, creating a stable home or cracking down on supply.

The initial local authorities assessed as having the greatest need to combat illicit drugs and the misery they cause, include areas in County Durham, Leeds, Birmingham and Devon.

Kit Malthouse, Combating Drugs Minister, said:

Aside from the personal misery and degradation, drugs are behind almost half of all burglaries and robberies, and drive violence and murder in too many neighbourhoods.

We must maintain focus on the Prime Minister’s overall aim to reduce crime that blights our cities and towns, and the best way to do this is to work together to reduce homelessness, drug use and drug deaths. We will build on our work in the current Project ADDER locations, adding yet more heft to existing sites to accelerate the turnaround for addicts and their neighbours.

Dame Carol Black said:

Misuse of drugs leads to enormous human tragedy – for individuals, their families and their communities. This new government investment will transform services combatting substance misuse, providing people with high quality treatment and support for recovery.

It is encouraging that on top of the additional funding for all local authorities, the 50 authorities most in need will be given further money to support their treatment programmes. This is crucial to rebuilding the treatment and recovery workforce and enable harm caused by drug misuse in our most deprived areas to be reduced.

In addition, the government has set out plans for more intensive oversight by the criminal justice system through enhancing Project ADDER.

Launched in November 2020, Project ADDER is already delivering a whole system approach to tackle drug misuse in 13 of the hardest hit local authorities in England and Wales – joining up enforcement, treatment and recovery. The programme has already shown signs of success, contributing to 600 organised crime disruptions,10,500 arrests and 13,400 drug treatment interventions carried out by outreach workers. This innovative approach involves working in conjunction with local partners to enhance the programme to ensure treatment, accommodation and employment support is as joined up as possible around individuals with opioid and crack cocaine addiction.

Building on the success of the programme to date, a package of coordinated support will be provided to every opiate and crack cocaine user in ADDER areas in England, backed by incentives and consequences within the criminal justice system to increase engagement in rehabilitation, treatment and recovery services. New plans mean those who are involved in crime will have more intensive oversight by the criminal justice system. For example, offenders who commit neighbourhood crime (burglary, robbery, theft from the person and vehicle theft) will be subject to joint probation and police supervision with increased frequency of contact with the offender, and improved information sharing between organisations to monitor compliance.

Plans include:

  • Piloting local drugs partnerships which aim to ensure every opiate and crack cocaine user is offered drug treatment support, accommodation, education and employment support.
  • Preventing a ‘cliff edge’ and support ending when offenders leave statutory probation supervision to ensure they receive continued help.
  • Trialling co-ordination of all local services around the individual drug user.
  • Bringing prolific offenders into local Integrated Offender Management schemes to ensure increased levels of oversight and rehabilitation support in line with the Integrated Offender Management Strategy to reduce neighbourhood crime.
  • Taking a tougher approach to drug-related reoffending, including through greater use of community sentences with drug rehabilitation requirements, drug testing and stronger electronic monitoring options available.

Background information

  • All of England will benefit from an uplift in funding for their treatment and recovery services, with the first 50 local authorities receiving enhanced funding in 2022/23. The second tranche of enhanced funding for the next 50 LAs will follow in 2023-24 and the third will be in 2024-25.
  • Every area will also benefit from employment support provided alongside clinical treatment, with additional funding over the next three years to boost the individual placement and support programme. This is already available in 45 local authorities, and will be expanded alongside this new investment.
  • The government will also develop a new set of local and national outcomes frameworks to measure progress against the key strategic aims through which government and public services can be held to account at both national and local levels.
  • The list of eligible LAs and funding breakdown can be found on
  • The Drug Strategy was published in December 2021
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