London, Dec 7 (IANS) The UK government has unveiled its 10-year drug strategy, with the “largest ever increase” in funding for drug treatment.
The strategy is backed by a new investment of almost 780 million pounds (about $1.03 billion) for treatment — “the largest ever increase, bringing total spending on drug enforcement and treatment to more than 3 billion pounds over the next three years,” Xinhua news agency reported, citing a government press release.
The strategy has a heavy focus on targeting users and suppliers. It sets out an investment of 300 million pounds to crack down on supply chains and criminal gangs profiting from the trade in illegal drugs.
It seeks to deter people from drug use through a range of potential civil penalties which could include fines, curfews, or in the most exceptional cases, the temporary removal of driving licenses or passports.
“This is a huge moment which will save lives. We’re investing a record amount into treatment services with money to break the cycle of drug use and to support communities by cutting the drug use which drives crime,” Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in the press release. (1 pound = $1.33)