The government set out a strategy in 2010 aimed at supporting people to live a drug free life. The Home Secretary states that intention of the strategy is to “reduce demand, restrict supply and support and achieve recovery”. They aim to achieve this in numerous ways, including:
- By supporting vulnerable families to ensure that children are given the best possible start, therefore attempting to break inter-generational paths to dependency.
- In education, by providing accurate information concerning drugs, tackling problem behaviour, particularly by having increased powers of confiscation, and by taking action against those pupils found to be dealing drugs, and by working in close conjunction with relevant drug support agencies in the local community.
- Targeting vulnerable groups within the younger demographic, particularly those who truant, are excluded from school or are involved in the care system; and providing intervention prior to a drug problem developing.
- Through the judicial system, by moving the focus away from punishment and directing it towards rehabilitation where feasible. Incorporating Drug Rehabilitation Requirements (DRR) into sentencing can include community sentences, and drug screening requirements (such as regular drug testing).
- Within the prison system, by offering the Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) and piloting a new scheme involving drug recovery wings, so that individuals are supported in overcoming their dependence and can access past offenders who have managed to overcome their addiction.
- Restricting supply from the illicit drug market by eradicating crops, disrupting production, increasing law enforcement interventions and focusing investigative resources on those who mastermind the trade.
- Through law enforcement reforms, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the United Kingdom Border Force (UKBA) will work in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies to tackle threats both in the UK and overseas, with heroin continuing to be a priority issue.
- Focusing on recovery, in particular those who are taking a substitute medication such as methadone or Subutex and ensuring that they engage in recovery activities, building upon the 15,000 heroin and crack cocaine users every year who leave heroin treatment free of their dependency.
Helping those in recovery to find permanent employment, which is seen as a key contributor to sustaining recovery. Whilst it is not feasible to promise jobs to every individual in recovery, it is possible to equip them with skills that will enable them to enter the competitive job market.
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