Alcohol remit for drug treatment unit

The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse may take on
responsibility for alcohol, Community Care has

The agency was set up in 2001 to increase the availability and
effectiveness of treatment for drug abuse in England. But the
government is likely to recommend that it widens its remit when the
national alcohol harm reduction strategy is launched in the

But the Association of Directors of Social Services has told the
government that there were insufficient resources for alcohol
treatment services despite there being more alcohol abusers than
drug misusers.

The ADSS said that because alcohol treatment had not received
specific central government funding, combined services had evolved
that made little distinction between drug and alcohol cases.

John Dixon, chairperson of the ADSS disabilities committee, said
the time was long past when alcohol abuse services should be given
lower priority than drug misuse.

“The appalling consequences of excessive drinking are every bit as
dangerous and damaging as the abuse of illegal drugs,” he

This week, the ADSS unveiled its response to October’s consultation
paper on the alcohol harm reduction strategy, in which it calls for
more co-operation between police, social services and night-club
owners to address alcohol abuse.

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