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Drugs: Misuse

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the number of people with chronic health problems arising from illicit drug-taking; and what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the NHS of this. (191383)

The Department has not made any formal estimate of the number of people with chronic health problems arising from illicit drug-taking. Nor has it made an estimate of the annual cost of this to the national health service.

However, there is a strong evidence base which has established the serious harms that drug misuse causes including those that are health-related. This is why we have invested substantially in drug treatment, allocating another £398 million pooled drug treatment budget this year for the treatment of drug misuse.

The Government launched their new national Drug Strategy on 27 February 2008, which, following on from the previous Drug Strategy, again identifies effective treatment as key to tackling these problems.