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Havering spends £300,000 less on support services for drug and alcohol treatment

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 June 2019

Havering has seen a £300,000 drop in spending on drug, alcohol and treatment services since 2013, new figures reveal. Picture: David Jones / PA

Havering has seen a £300,000 drop in spending on drug, alcohol and treatment services since 2013, new figures reveal. Picture: David Jones / PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Havering has seen a £300,000 drop in spending on drug, alcohol and treatment services since 2013, new figures reveal.

The UK Addiction Treatment Group (Ukat) carried out a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests which revealed

In 2013/14 Havering spent £1,818,001 on drug, alcohol and treatment services.

Four years later in 2018/19, the council has set aside a £1,496,945 for the same services.

Councillor Jason Frost, cabinet member for health and adult care services, explained that the council has integrated its drug and alcohol treatment and substance misuse services into one budget.

He said: "We're continuing to make a long-term investment in our drugs and alcohol service.

"The service is now under one roof so it's easier to find and is better value for money.

"We help people to detox in the community, stay sober and where appropriate, support them to find employment."

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Only half of London's local authorities responded to the FOI request.

Of the 18 councils that responded, £79million was being spent on helping those who struggle with addiction in the community in 2013.

This number has dropped to £56m this year, which amounts to a 30per cent loss in funds.

Ukat also asked England's Care Quality Commission (CCQ) how many public residential rehabilitation treatment centres were actively registered and open in 2013 compared to this year.

The results revealed a 57pc closure rate of drug and alcohol treatment services.

Eytan Alexander, managing director of Ukat, explained how he thinks the budget cuts are affecting London's public rehabs.

He said: "Public residential rehabs regulated by the CCQ are reliant on referrals from their local councils funding patient treatment.

"If less money is being spent by local councils on placing those most vulnerable into treatment, then we will undoubtedly see even more public rehabs having been forced to close their doors by this time next year.

"Not everyone can afford to pay for their addiction treatment, but everyone deserves to be treated and to be given a second chance at life.

"We urge councils across London to make better budget decisions next year."

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