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Strategy to reduce drug use has failed to deliver promised innovations, say MPs

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 09 February 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q351
  1. Jane Feinmann
  1. London

A 10 year government strategy intended to reduce use of illegal drugs, drug related deaths, and crime by ushering in a new public health approach to drug services has so far failed to deliver, MPs have reported.

Despite £903m to fund the strategy for 2022-25,1 there has been no reduction in the “tragic deaths and harms caused by illegal drug use, a desperate blight on our whole society,” said the chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Meg Hillier, after an inquiry into progress so far.2 She said, “Deaths from drugs continue to rise, drug use shows no reduction in the last 10 years, and the harm caused by illegal drugs is growing.”

The strategy, From Harm to Hope, which launched in December 2021 after an independent review chaired by Carol Black, principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, reported a 40% real terms reduction in funding for …

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