Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, is demanding major, sustained and protected investment for the addiction treatment system, and has slammed Conservative Government Ministers for deep cuts across services and for having an ‘attitude of ambivalence to those in need’.
Tony said, ‘Addiction must be afforded the same consideration as any other health condition, yet access to addiction treatment and recovery is a post code lottery. That simply isn’t acceptable.
‘Abstinence-based treatment, residential treatment, family support, early intervention and recovery services have suffered for over a decade of Conservative Government inaction and Minister’s attitude of ambivalence to those in need.
‘We have a pragmatic interest and we have a moral interest to address the tragic impact of addiction on individuals, children, families and communities, and that must include proper investment in addiction treatment and recovery services. That’s why I’m backing the Independent Review of Drugs recommendation for an investment of £1.78 billion into these crucial services.
‘For every £1 spent on addiction treatment, the Exchequer will save at least £3 in crime, health and benefit expenditure. For every £1 spent in family intervention services, the Exchequer can generate £2.76 in direct savings.
‘Not only does this make fiscal sense, it can save lives and break the cycle of intergenerational harm on children, reduce crime and level up our most deprived communities.’
Tony is one of a cross-party group of MPs and Peers writing to Prime Minister Johnson ahead of the spending review, demanding the Government delivers on all 32 recommendations published in part two of Dame Carol Black’s Independent Review of Drugs. Specifically the review calls for major, sustained, and protected investment for the addiction treatment system over the next five years.
In the letter to the Prime Minister, they write that the ‘comprehensive report has called for an investment of £1.78 billion over five years, to transform our country’s response to the preventable harms of addiction – one of the greatest mental health challenges of our time,’ adding that the ‘review details the harrowing reality of service closures and negative patient experience – for example, more than half of state-funded residential addiction rehabilitation centres in the UK have closed in the last eight years; and the capacity of prison recovery programmes has reduced by over 60% in the same period. In some local authorities funding for addiction services has been cut by more than 40%.’
‘We are calling on you to guarantee the full additional investment of £1.78 billion over five years, as set out by Dame Carol to properly fund addiction and recovery services. To quote Dame Carol, ‘Government must either invest in tackling the problem or keep paying for the consequences.’’
Notes for editors:-
• Dame Carol Black’s Independent Review of Drugs can be read in full here
• The Government’s response to the review can be read here