More money for drug action teams

All drug action teams are to receive at least 10 per cent more
funds next year, following the government’s announcement last week
that it would be investing £1.5bn to tackle drug misuse.

Of this, £108m is to be spent on community-based drug
treatment over the next three years. Allocations by the National
Treatment Agency mean that the City of London’s drug action team
will benefit from a 66 per cent increase in funding and the North
East Lincolnshire drug action team by 49 per cent.

Overall, government funding for community-based drug treatment will
increase by 23 per cent from £191m to £236m in 2003-4, by
7 per cent to £253m in 2004-5 and by 18 per cent to £299m
in 2005-6.

NTA chief executive Paul Hayes said that the announcement of three
years’ funding would give teams a “firm footing”.

Meanwhile, a new handbook from the Office of the Deputy Prime
Minister suggests that homeless drug users should be treated as a
distinct group in the planning of drugs and homelessness

It proposes that several specialist drug services for homeless
people should be offered through homelessness agencies, provided by
either generic homelessness workers trained in drug work or by
specialist drug workers.

In addition, drug action teams should work closely with councils to
ensure suitable housing is available for people leaving

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