Funding for drug and alcohol treatment services welcomed by RCPsych

Statement / comment
13 November 2023

The Government has announced nearly £267 million of funding will be invested into improving drug and alcohol addiction recovery services next year, as part of its previous commitment to increase spending on substance misuse services. 

Dr Emily Finch, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Addictions Faculty, said:

“Far too many people have lost family and friends to drug and alcohol addiction in recent years, and we must do more to prevent death rates from rising in England. People who struggle with addiction often have complex social and medical needs but with the right support they can recover.

“Addiction treatment services are finding it difficult to meet soaring demand due to staff shortages and a lack of resources. It’s vital this funding reaches the frontline where it can save lives and help those in need. It must be supported by sustained additional investment if it is to have a lasting impact.

“The Government must back the development of long-term solutions such as new commissioning procedures which have the potential to help recovery services secure longer and better funded contracts.

"The Government previously made rebuilding the workforce a key priority in its ten-year drug strategy, reaffirming this commitment in the NHSE Long Term Workforce Plan, but despite this the number of psychiatrists specialising in addiction has fallen. We urgently need new measures to be put in place which boost both recruitment and retention so that there are enough staff to provide everyone with timely and effective care.”

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