Addiction budget cuts ‘failing the most vulnerable’

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth has warned that government plans to cut £43 million from addiction budgets is ‘failing the most vulnerable’ in society.

According to the Labour party, over two thirds of councils have had to cut lifeline services for drug and alcohol abuse as a result of tightening government funding. This coincides with recent statistics showing that drug deaths have hit a record high in England and Wales.

It is reported that 106 of the 152 local authorities in England are cutting £28.4 million from their drug treatment budgets this year compared with 2016/17, while 95 councils are slashing £6.5 million from their funds for alcohol abuse over the same period.

Ashworth is expected to speak about the issue at the Labour Party Conference, where he will say: “These are staggering cuts to addiction and prevention services including cuts to support for children with drug and alcohol problems. The Tories are cynically imposing multi-million pound cuts on councils and the result is reductions in essential services to prevent and treat addiction.

“It’s yet another example of how this Tory government is dismantling the country’s public health system. The long-term effect will be growing addiction problems in society and increases the long-term costs for the health services.”

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