Drug strategy

The drug strategy, 'Reducing demand, restricting supply, building recovery: supporting people to live a drug-free life', was launched in December 2010. The first annual review of the drug strategy was released in May 2012.

Drug strategy annual review - May 2012

The first annual review of the drug strategy 2010 provides an update on progress in meeting the commitments to reduce demand, restrict supply and build recovery in communities.

The review highlights our key achievements and identifies priorities for the year ahead. It includes an annex that gives further detail on our approach to tackling the threat from new psychoactive substances (NPS), or so called 'legal highs'.                                                                                              

Drug strategy 2010: reducing demand, restricting supply, building recovery: supporting people to live a drug-free life

A major change to previous government policy, the 2010 strategy sets out a fundamentally different approach to preventing drug use in our communities, and in supporting recovery from drug and alcohol dependence. 

The strategy has recovery at its heart. It:

  • puts more responsibility on individuals to seek help and overcome dependency
  • places emphasis on providing a more holistic approach, by addressing other issues in addition to treatment to support people dependent on drugs or alcohol, such as offending, employment and housing
  • aims to reduce demand
  • takes an uncompromising approach to crack down on those involved in the drug supply both at home and abroad
  • puts power and accountability in the hands of local communities to tackle drugs and the harms they cause

With regards to devolved powers, the coverage of the new strategy is as follows:

  • health, education, housing and social care – confined to England
  • policing and the criminal justice system – England and Wales
  • the work of the Department for Work and Pensions – England, Wales and Scotland

You can view the strategy and its associated documents (the impact assessment and equality screening document), as well as a Welsh translation of the strategy.

A drug consultation was held over the summer of 2010, which received over 1,800 responses, and helped inform this drug strategy. You can read the summary of the responses to the consultation.

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