Each year in the UK, drugs cost society £10.7 billion in policing, healthcare and crime, with drug-fuelled theft alone costing £6 billion a year. Research shows that for every £1 spent on treatment, an estimated £2.50 is saved.
In 2015/16, 2.7 million – over 8% – of 16-59-year-olds in England and Wales took illegal drugs. This is down from 10.5% a decade ago, but new threats are emerging including new psychoactive substances such as ‘spice’, image and performance enhancing drugs, ‘chemsex’ drugs and misuse of prescribed medicines.
The new strategy confronts these threats and sets out new action to protect the most vulnerable, including the homeless, victims of domestic abuse and those with mental health issues.
The comprehensive new approach brings the police, health and local partners together to support those most at risk. The strategy includes measures to:
- reduce demand: through deterrent work including an expansion of the Alcohol and Drugs Education and Prevention Information Service for young people
- restrict supply: by pursuing a strong law enforcement response and dismantling trafficking networks
- support recovery: a new National Recovery Champion will be appointed to make sure adequate housing, employment and mental health services are available to help people turn their lives around
- drive international action: an international strand is included for the first time, setting out action to strengthen controls at our borders, understand global trends and share intelligence
There is specific mention of health and justice issues in Chapter 2.
Please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/drug-strategy-2017 to access the document.