James Brokenshire has unveiled the Government's ambitious new drug strategy with an uncompromising drive to crack down on those involved in the drugs trade, at the same time as revolutionising treatment services to offer recovery as a route out of dependency.
In a major policy shift, the strategy puts drug free recovery at the heart of the Government's response and puts more responsibility on individuals to seek help and overcome their dependency. The new cross-government approach will also see a renewed focus on reducing demand and restricting supply through:
- taking more action to seize the assets of those involved in the drugs trade, both at home and abroad
- giving teachers greater powers to search and confiscate drugs and alcohol in schools
- encouraging people who have been successful in conquering their own addiction to build a nationwide network of 'recovery champions' who can inspire others in their neighbourhoods to join them on the road to recovery
Minister for Crime Prevention, James Brokenshire said:
"Drugs ruin lives and cause misery to families and communities across the country. There are no quick fixes, what we want to achieve is a generational shift, to get people to take responsibility for their actions and free themselves from the vicious cycle of drug and alcohol dependency.
"Today's message is clear, simply focusing on reducing the harms cause by illicit drug use is no longer enough – we must focus on recovery as the most effective route out of dependency.
"We will also tighten the net on unscrupulous drug dealers, introduce temporary banning orders to allow us to take immediate action against new legal highs, protect vulnerable young people by preventing them from falling into a cycle of dependency, and encourage record numbers into treatment."
Power and accountability to tackle drugs and the harms they cause will be passed to local areas. With the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners, the reform of the NHS and the creation of Public Health England, local partnerships will be responsible for designing and commissioning services that meet the needs of their communities.