Letter: Common sense on drug abuse

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your report on the Task Force report on drug misusers ( 2 May) identifies a significant boost for common sense within the Government's drugs strategy. The Department of Health is to be commended for commissioning this landmark study.

Yet with drug addiction up 13 per cent in the last year alone the effectiveness of the current balance of government resources between enforcement and control (61 per cent) and treatment, care and education (38 per cent) needs urgent reconsideration.

Common sense also includes not only investing more extensively in the drug services which are proven to save significant sums of taxpayers' money, but also a closer look at the social and economic factors underlying problem drug use. This will involve a strengthened commitment across a wider range of government departments - to include support targeted at drug users from within employment and training, housing and regeneration programmes.

Roger Howard

Chief Executive

Standing Conference on Drug Abuse

London SE1