LGA responds to latest drug-related deaths figures

“We have long argued that reductions to councils’ public health grant, which is used to fund drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services, is a false economy which will only compound acute pressures for criminal justice and NHS services further down the line."


Drug paraphernalia

Responding to Office for National Statistics data about the number of deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2018, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

"Councils are committed to ensuring drug users get the right support and treatment, and spend more on drug and alcohol treatment than in any other area of public health.

“The biggest challenge we all face is an ageing cohort of drug users, who have not previously sought or had any treatment. As a result, they are prone to an accumulation of chronic physical and mental health conditions that make them more susceptible to dying through overdose.

“We have long argued that reductions to councils’ public health grant, which is used to fund drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services, is a false economy which will only compound acute pressures for criminal justice and NHS services further down the line.

“It is vital that the Government uses the upcoming Spending Round to reverse the £700 million of real terms reductions to councils’ public health grants between 2015/16 and 2019/20 and secure sustainable long-term funding for public health in local government.”