The independent review commissioned by the government considered the effectiveness of the current treatment system.
It considered how steps introduced in the local commissioning environment have responded to growing complexity and scale of drug addiction in the UK. Conducted during the pandemic, the review considered how to improve an already pressured system and escalating drug deaths across, alongside reports of pandemic related increases in addiction rates.
Speaking on the review, Mike Trace, The Forward Trust CEO said:
“The Carol Black review is an important moment, not just for drug policy but for addiction treatment. For some time, the addiction treatment system in the UK has been struggling with the ‘perfect storm’ of rising demand and funding cuts. The opportunity to get help towards long-term recovery has become more and more scarce, inequitable, dependent on where you live and increasingly whether you can afford to pay for residential treatment or not.
“The current treatment system isn’t sustainable. Reducing budgets have resulted in diminishing and inconsistent access to treatment from one local area to another. It means that the experience of individuals, families and children struggling with an addiction is too often one of frustration and isolation when they most need help.
“Last week, we published a You Gov poll which indicates a continued rise of addiction following the pandemic. As we emerge from Covid and make decisions on future health priorities it is vital that addiction treatment, access to recovery, early intervention and support for families and children are firmly on the agenda so that we avoid a continued increase in avoidable deaths from this devastating illness.”