Drug strategy 2017

A Policy Briefing aimed at healthcare professionals is available for LKS staff to share in their own organisations. This has been produced and shared by the JET Library, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Please feel free to reproduce it (with acknowledgement to JET Library) for your own purposes.

Impact on library policy/practice: 

The strategy will progress with an eye on emerging evidence, to understand current challenge on a global scale. Library teams can help organisations to monitor the evidence, providing current awareness or horizon scanning services for emerging trends and innovative practice. Library services could provide evidence outlining global issues, or provide evidence for local initiatives and commissioning of services.

Source: Home Office

Link to main document

Publication format: PDF

Date of publication: July 2017

Summary of driver: The strategy aims to reduce illicit and other harmful drug use, and increase the rate of individuals recovering from their dependence. Integral to the strategy is partnership working to tackle drug misuse and the harm caused at local, national and international levels. The government will work with partners in education, health, safeguarding, criminal justice, housing and employment to provide a joined up approach to commissioning services which enable people to live free from drugs. The government will also work with global partners to restrict supply and lead global actions to prevent drugs harms.

Key features of driver:

Current situation:

  • Social and economic cost estimated at £10.7bn p.a.; £6bn linked to people stealing to buy drugs
  • 2015-16 ca. 2.7m people reported using illegal drugs
  • Fewer drug users are coming into treatment and reduced number of under 25s being treated for opiate addiction
  • More adults are leaving treatment successfully than in 2009-10, but wide variation between the best- and worst-performing local authorities
  • The number of deaths increased by 10.3% in 2015, deaths involving heroin more than doubled between 2012 and 2015

The strategy has four key themes:

  • Reducing demand for drugs –preventing the onset of drug use through targeting the most vulnerable members of society, e.g. young people, NEET, offenders, families, women at risk of violence/abuse, sex workers, homeless, veterans, older people.
  • Restricting the supply of drugs – working in partnership and changing approach to tackle changes in criminal activity. Using new technologies and innovative data collection methods.
  • Building recovery – providing treatments for the range of needs, adopting a joined up approach to commissioning services which enable individuals to lives a life free from drugs.
  • Global action – take a leading international role to adopt new evidence to prevent drug harms.

The approach will be grounded in the evidence base, monitoring global practice to inform the approach. The strategy was based on a recent evidence review published by Public Health England. Whilst the strategy is focused on drugs, there will be a joined up approach with action on alcohol.

Primary audience: Public health and Commissioners. Also those working in Education, Health, Safeguarding, Criminal justice, Housing and employment.

Date last updated: September 2017

Due for review: September 2018

Group member responsible: TP



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