YEOVIL MP Marcus Fysh has welcomed an extra £2.47 million to boost drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery in Somerset.

Over the next two years, 151 local authorities in England will be allocated a share of a further £421 million in government funding to improve treatment and recovery services, it was announced yesterday.

For Somerset, this will mean a funding boost of 27 per cent. 

The funding builds on the government's ambitions to deliver a world-class treatment and recovery system and reduce drug use to a 30-year low. 

Mr Fysh, whose Yeovil constituency includes Chard and Ilminster, has lobbied the government on anti-social behaviour and drug related crime, such as County Lines gangs.

He said: “This is an important step not just in helping people battle addictions but also in tackling associated problems like anti-social behaviour and homelessness.

"It’s addressing the cause rather than symptoms of the issue and that’s good news.”

The government says the funding will enable the creation of 50,000 high-quality places in drug and alcohol treatment.

Chard & Ilminster News: The government has allocated a further £421 million to local authorities to boost alcohol and drug treatment and recovery across England.The government has allocated a further £421 million to local authorities to boost alcohol and drug treatment and recovery across England. (Image: Example)

Local authorities will be able to recruit more staff to work with people with drug and alcohol problems, support more prison leavers into treatment and recovery services and invest in enhancing the quality of treatment they provide.

The government's drug strategy, published in December 2021, set out the ambition to increase the capacity of treatment and recovery services.

Ministers estimate the additional investment will prevent nearly 1,000 drug-related deaths.

Health minister Neil O’Brien said: “Addictions drive about half of all theft, burglary and robbery, so boosting treatment for addicts will help cut crime.

“This funding will help improve the quality and capacity of drug and alcohol recovery services right across the country, helping more people access the support they need, saving lives and benefitting communities.” 

Combating drugs minister Chris Philp said: “The funding announced today builds on existing investment in services to help users kick the cycle of addiction and drive down crime – and to prevent addiction at an earlier stage. 

“This record investment as part of the UK Government's 10-year drugs strategy brings together the police, courts, local authorities and other agencies, through Combating Drugs Partnerships, to tackle illicit drug use with high quality treatment and put criminals who profit behind bars.”