Lincolnshire gears up with £2m funds to battle drug and alcohol abuse

Revamping recovery: Lincolnshire receives major funding for substance abuse treatment
Daniel Jaines

Daniel Jaines

Lincolnshire gears up with £2m funds to battle drug and alcohol abuse

Lincolnshire is set to receive a significant boost in its fight against drug and alcohol misuse, with over £2 million from the government's 10-year drug strategy budget.

This funding, part of a nearly £267 million national investment, aims to reduce drug use to a 30-year low and improve the quality and access of treatment services across England.

As part of the spend,  Lincolnshire will receive £2,090,974 for 2024-25, and £121,398 for inpatient detox.

Lincolnshire County Council's Public Health department said the latest government data from 2021/22 shows 3,250 people in treatment within the county, with significant numbers battling addictions to opiates, alcohol, and other substances.

A spokesman for the authority, which runs the We Are With You treatment service, said: "Lincolnshire is fully committed to improving our treatment services and this funding is helping to achieve that goal.

"We will continue to work with our substance misuse provider ‘With You’ and our key partners to use this funding to improve and enhance our treatment delivery across Lincolnshire."

The funding will be used in partnership with local organisations to enhance treatment services, including criminal justice services, mental health liaison, and family support services.

Health Minister Neil O’Brien highlighted a critical link between drug addiction and crime.

He said: “We aim to raise the number of people getting drug and alcohol treatment to a record high by investing through the long term investment we’ve been making over the last three years.

“Today’s allocations will see £267 million go directly to local authorities and their partners to improve services, increase capacity and quality of treatment and recovery systems."

This sentiment is echoed by Professor Dame Carol Black, who said: "The end goal is to get many people into world-class recovery and treatment system, reduce drug use and drug related crime – and ultimately save lives," she said.

Despite the enthusiasm for the new funding, some local bodies, including Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, have refrained from commenting on the treatment plans, instead pointing back to LCC.

Lincolnshire Police said they would await further details on the local spending plans before commenting on the impact on policing.

The funding is prioritised for areas with the highest need, considering factors such as drug deaths, deprivation, and crime rates.

Alice Wiseman from the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) stresses the value of these programmes, not just for individuals, but for the entire community.

She notes the necessity of long-term commitment to the strategy for its success.

"We know this work is incredibly valuable, both for individuals and communities, but it does require the long-term commitment of this ten-year strategy," she said.

"The extra funding announced today is very welcome and will enable us to support more people in this way.”

This investment is expected to support a wide range of substance treatments, including for heroin, crack, powder cocaine, ecstasy, and cannabis.

It also aligns with the government's efforts to clamp down on criminal gangs profiting from illegal drugs, backed by a £300 million investment over three years.