Today the Government announced local authorities across England will benefit from an extra £421 million government funding through to 2025 to improve drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery.
Dr Emily Finch, Chair of the Addictions Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:
“Addiction is a potentially life-threatening illness, which devastates people's health and wellbeing. This funding can make a real difference for our overstretched treatment and recovery services. It will help patients who often do not get the care they both need and deserve.
“Patients need support across the whole treatment and recovery system, which includes the health service, local authorities and criminal justice. The Government must ensure funding is spread across all these areas if it is to have a real impact.
“Patients experiencing addictions have complex social and medical needs and as a result improvement in services require a robust workforce to provide specialist skills for effective support.
“We were encouraged to see that rebuilding the workforce was a key priority within the Government’s ten-year drug strategy. However, over the last few years, the numbers of Addiction Consultants have decreased, with approximately one in five posts currently vacant.
“Today’s announcement must be supported by a strategy to grow the workforce. This needs to address both retention and recruitment, including increasing and safeguarding the number of trainee places for Addiction Psychiatrists.
“Addiction is a treatable health condition; the government must prioritise support for people dependent on drugs and alcohol so they can live full lives.”