Tower Hamlets Council is throwing its weight behind the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June to highlight the dangers of drug use and their illegal trade.
The annual awareness day was founded in 1987 to mark the centenary of China’s early efforts to combat the trade in opium – widely regarded as the start of the international war on drugs.
The council currently invests £7.3m funding to tackle drug and substance misuse in the borough.
The investment follows an increase in demand for rehabilitation services and concern from residents that drug use is a big issue in the borough.
More people were treated for substance misuse than anywhere else in London last year, and, compared to all other areas of London, patients achieved some of the best outcomes.
Public Health England, part of the government’s Department of Health, has said that every £1 spent on drug treatment will save £4 in costs to society on associated health or housing costs.
Drug treatment services in Tower Hamlets are delivered alongside accommodation support, employment and training opportunities, family interventions and supportive networks, giving people access to important opportunities as they rebuild their lives.
Treatment for people dependent on opiate drugs (such as heroin and morphine) was particularly successful in 2016/17. Not one person waited longer than three weeks to access treatment, meaning people received help faster than the national average for a local council.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said:
“We are tackling the supply and demand aspects of the drugs market to prevent the associated crime and anti-social behaviour it causes.
“Our substance misuse services can be life changing and are therefore a vital component in our ongoing work to tackle the devastating health and social issues caused by drugs.
“But we will continue our ongoing work with the police and key partners to take dealers off the streets and keep them safe.”
Councillor Asma Begum, Cabinet Member for Community Safety added:
“Our residents have told us that drugs area blight on their streets and they want to see a clampdown on anti-social behaviour that they cause.
“We will continue to support the people who are preyed on by dealers, but we will also continue to work with the police to use our collective powers against people who deal drugs.”
To find out more about drug and misuse services available, go to https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/health__social_care/public_health/substance_misuse.aspx
Posted on Thursday 21st June 2018