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Ten-Year Drugs Strategy

Volume 816: debated on Thursday 9 December 2021


The following Statement was made in the House of Commons on Monday 6 December.

“With permission, Madam Deputy Speaker, I would like to make a Statement on the Government’s new 10-year strategy for addressing illicit drug use, which has been published today.

Illegal drugs inflict devastation on a horrifying scale. The impact on individuals, families and neighbourhoods is profound. The cost to society is colossal—running to nearly £20 billion a year in England alone—but the greatest tragedy is the human cost. Drugs drive nearly half of all homicides, and a similar proportion of crimes such as robbery, burglary and theft. More people die every year as a result of illegal drug use than from all knife crime and road traffic accidents combined. The county lines drug-dealing model fuels violence and exploitation. The need for action could not be clearer. Today, we are setting out how we will turn that around. Our new strategy From Harm to Hope is a blueprint for driving drugs out of our cities, towns and villages, and for ensuring that those affected get the help they so badly need.

In February 2019, the Government commissioned Professor Dame Carol Black to conduct an independent review of the issues and challenges relating to drug misuse. In July, Dame Carol published the second part of her review. Both parts together formed a call to action. We accept all of Dame Carol’s key recommendations, and this strategy sets out our response in full.

The task of gripping the issue cannot be undertaken by any one department alone. A collective effort is required, which is why we have developed a whole-system approach, with a focus on three strategic priorities: first, breaking drug supply chains; secondly, delivering a world-class treatment and recovery system; and, thirdly, achieving a significant reduction in demand for illegal drugs over the next generation. It is a truly whole-of-government effort that takes in contributions from a number of my ministerial colleagues. I thank Dame Carol Black for her thorough reviews and championing of this important agenda.

I am pleased to tell the House that our strategy is accompanied by nearly £900 million of dedicated funding. That record level of investment will bring our total spending on drug enforcement, treatment and recovery to more than £3 billion over the next three years. That is unprecedented and a clear signal of our commitment, and that of the Prime Minister, to addressing the challenges.

Using that funding, we will mount a relentless and uncompromising campaign against the violent and exploitative illegal drug market. That will include: further action to prevent drugs from entering the country; the disruption of criminal gangs responsible for drug trafficking and supply; a zero-tolerance approach to drugs in prisons; and a continued focus on rolling up county lines, building on the success of our efforts to date.

The county lines phenomenon is one of the most pernicious forms of criminality to emerge in recent years, which is why we ramped up activity to dismantle the business model behind that threat. Since that programme was launched just over two years ago, we have seen the closure of more than 1,500 county lines, with over 7,400 arrests. Importantly, more than 4,000 vulnerable, often young, people have been rescued and safeguarded. Those results speak for themselves, but we will not stop there. By investing £300 million in throttling the drugs supply chain over the next three years, we will take a significant stride towards delivering the objectives of our beating crime plan and levelling-up agenda.

Tough enforcement action must be coupled with a renewed focus on breaking the cycle of drug addiction, which is why we are investing an additional £780 million in creating a world-class treatment and recovery system. That is the largest ever single increase in treatment and recovery investment, and the public will expect to see results—and so do we.

The strategy sets out how the whole-of-government mission aims to significantly increase the numbers of drug and alcohol treatment places, and people in long-term recovery from substance addiction, to reverse the upward trend in drug-related deaths, and to bolster the crime prevention effort by reducing levels of offending associated with drug dependency. To achieve that, we are setting out a clear stance today that addiction is a chronic condition and that when someone has been drawn into drug dependency, they should be supported to recover. Of the £780 million, £530 million will be spent on enhancing drug treatment services, while £120 million will be used to increase the number of offenders and ex-offenders who are engaged in the treatment that they need to turn their lives around.

Treatment services are just one part of the support that people need to sustain a meaningful recovery, so we are investing a further £68 million for treatment and additional support for people with a housing need and £29 million for specialised employment support for people who have experienced drug addiction. That enhanced spending on drug treatment and recovery will also help to drive down crime by cutting levels of drug-related offending.

The harms caused by drug misuse are not distributed evenly across the country. Although our strategy is designed to deliver for the country as a whole, it is right that we target our investment so that the areas with the highest levels of drug use and drug-related deaths and crime are prioritised. That will be a key step in levelling up such areas and supporting them to prosper.

Local partners working together on our long-term ambitions will be key to the strategy’s success and we will develop a new set of local and national measures of progress against our key strategic aims, with clear accountability at national and local levels. We will also continue to work closely with our partners in the devolved Administrations to embed collaboration, share good practice and strengthen our evidence base in this UK-wide challenge.

The new strategy sets out our immediate priorities while also highlighting our longer-term goals. We want to see a generational shift in our society’s attitude towards drugs, which means reducing the demand for illegal drugs and being utterly unequivocal about the swift and certain consequences that individuals will face if they choose to take drugs as part of their lifestyle. We will improve our methods for identifying those drugs users and roll out a system of tougher penalties that they must face.

Unlawful possession of drugs is a crime and we need to be clear that those who break the law should face consequences for their actions. That is why our commitment includes going even further in this mission, with a White Paper next year to ensure that the penalties for recreational use are tougher and have a clear and increasing impact. Those penalties must be meaningful for the individual, which is why we are considering options such as increased powers to fine individuals, requirements to attend drug awareness courses, and other reporting requirements and restrictions on their movement, including—possibly—the confiscation of passports and driving licences.

Alongside that, our strategy commits to research, innovation and building a world-leading evidence base to achieve a once-in-a-generation shift in attitudes and behaviours. A new £5 million cross-government innovation fund and a new research fund will start that decade-long journey. That will include a review by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on how best to prevent vulnerable people from falling into drug use. A national drugs summit will be also held in spring next year to bring together experts, educators, businesses, law enforcement and government to discuss the issue.

Preventing drug use is always a better route than dealing with the consequences of harms. The strategy also sets out our commitment to evaluating mandatory relationships, sex and health education in schools, and to supporting young people and families most at risk of substance misuse. The new strategy marks the start of a journey and we will publish annual reports to track progress against the ambitions contained in it.

Illegal drugs are the cause of untold misery across our society. The Government will not stand by while lives are being destroyed. This is about reducing crime, levelling up our country and, fundamentally, saving lives. Our new strategy sets out how we will turn the tide on drug misuse, and I commend this Statement to the House.”

My Lords, when we discuss the Government’s important new strategy on drugs, it is worth recalling the horrific statistics behind it. The cost to the economy is £20 billion just in England, but the human cost is what truly shocks us all. Drugs drive nearly half of all homicides, and nearly 3,000 people tragically lost their lives through drug misuse in England and Wales last year. The most deprived areas of the country face the most drug-driven crime and health harms, something I know will shock us all. County lines drug dealing, involving many young people, fuels violence and exploitation.

My key question with respect to the new strategy, which we all want to work, is: how will the Government ensure that this strategy works? How will they drive the strategy forward? What is the local mechanism for the delivery of the strategy? In other words, how do we turn the rhetoric of the strategy into reality?

The Government’s Statement says that they accept all Dame Carol Black’s recommendations, which is very welcome, but she also posed a question about why we are in this dreadful situation. She says, and we should learn from this:

“Drug misuse is at tragically destructive levels in this country … Funding cuts have left treatment and recovery services on their knees. Commissioning has been fragmented, with little accountability … partnerships … have deteriorated. The workforce is depleted … and demoralised.”

That is from the strategy document on which the Government have based their work, so never has a new 10-year plan been more needed, although the starting point has to be a reversal of what has been the case and how the problems so graphically highlighted by Dame Carol Black will be reversed.

Specifically, can the Minister confirm that all the spending required by Dame Carol Black’s recommendations will be met? For example, are all the 54,000 new treatment places she advocates to be funded? Are the new family hubs the Government have announced part of this drugs strategy?

The need to tackle county lines, as highlighted in the Statement, is crucial, so can the Minister update us on progress on this? The Government have said that 1,500 county lines have been closed. What does that mean? Is it the shutting down of a phone number or the closure of a county gang line?

The Statement also talks of the police and criminal justice system. How are we going to drive up prosecutions for drug offences, which have fallen over the past 10 years, with prosecutions down 36% and convictions down 43%?

The real focused effort has to be on the victims, so how are we going to recruit more front-line drug workers? How will we co-ordinate the work of local partners out there on the street? How will we support our schools as they seek to divert their students from harm?

We all want the new drugs strategy to work. Supply chains have to be cracked down on, the implicit tolerance of so-called recreational drug use has to be challenged and criminals have to be prosecuted, but there also need to be effective, co-ordinated drug treatment programmes. So can the Minister confirm that at the heart of the Government’s proposals there will be new, properly funded, co-ordinated drug treatment programmes that divert people from illegal suppliers?

Drugs shatter communities. They shatter the lives of many people, including so many of our young people—often, but not always, some of the most deprived. We have to break this cycle of violence and abuse. It will require investment, co-ordination, treatment, prosecutions, education and a real effort delivered locally but driven from the centre. Let us hope that this strategy can deliver it because the problem of drug abuse and misuse is all around us, along with the associated human misery. We must do more. Let us hope that the drug strategy, so good on paper, becomes the reality that we all want it to be on the ground.

My Lords, noble Lords will know that when you follow the Opposition Front Bench on a Statement you are concerned that you might have your thunder stolen, but as we are talking about drugs there was no danger of that today.

The Statement sets out the impact of the illegal drug trade on individuals, families, and the economy, and the noble Lord, Lord Coaker, has reinforced that. What assessment have the Government made of what the impact would be if there was a regulated market for cannabis, for example? What evidence is there from other parts of the world? Did the Minister see, for example, the documentary authored by the noble Lord, Lord Hogan-Howe, the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, whom the Government often rely upon to support their position, where his conclusion from looking at how such a policy operates in the United States called for a feasibility study into how such an approach could be adopted in the UK? In particular, he noted the marginal impact on drug use and the positive impact on tax income, providing resources for community policing and drug rehabilitation programmes. Does the Minister think there could be similar benefits to the UK?

The Statement talks about “a blueprint for driving drugs out of our cities, towns and villages”, but the so-called war on drugs has failed to have any impact on the demand for and use of illegal drugs. There has been temporary success in taking out county lines, which are soon replaced by others, temporary success in arresting drug dealers, who are soon replaced by rivals, and temporary success in occasionally seizing large quantities of drugs, which are dwarfed by the huge quantities of drugs that get through to users, all of which demonstrate that these so-called victories are pyrrhic. The noble Lord, Lord Coaker, has already asked about what progress has been made on county lines. What evidence is there of a net reduction in county lines?

Does the Minister think the sight of the Prime Minister dressed as a police officer, as we saw on Monday, looking like Paddington Bear in fancy dress, is likely to strike terror into the hearts of drug dealers? “Tough enforcement action”, to quote the Statement—attempting to control the supply of drugs when demand for drugs continues to grow—is completely the wrong approach. It was the wrong approach at the time of prohibition in America in the 1920s and it is now. Does the Minister think that, instead of tough enforcement action, a similar approach to that taken with alcohol—a system of regulation and control to mitigate the harms caused—is what we need in relation to drugs other than alcohol?

We need to focus on demand. Behind the smokescreen of Paddington Bear against the drug dealers, there is some welcome news on that front in this Statement. Increased funding—in fact, the majority of the increase —is to support drug-dependent people to move from chronic use into recovery.

Dame Carol Black’s review called for an additional £552 million a year by year 5, on top of the baseline annual expenditure of £680 million from the public health grant, to provide a full range of high-quality drug treatment and recovery services. The Government are providing £530 million over three years—less than Carol Black was asking for in year 5 alone. In fact, Dame Carol asked for £119 million extra in year 1, £231 million extra in year 2 and £396 million extra in year 3, a total of £746 million, against the £530 million promised in the Statement. That £746 million can be achieved within the budget announced by the Government, but only if the majority of the £300 million the Government are putting into enforcement is diverted into treatment, where it would be far more effectively spent. Will the Government consider reallocating the budget even further in favour of treatment?

When the Labour Government moved cannabis from a class C to a class B controlled drug, with harsher penalties for possession and supply, there was no impact on cannabis use. Later, when the media covered the fact that excessive use of extremely strong, genetically modified cannabis, particularly by young people, could have serious health impacts on users, cannabis use declined. Does the Minister not agree that the evidence shows that a health-based approach, where demand is reduced by informing users of the danger and where the supply and strength of the drugs is controlled, is likely to be far more successful than continuing the failed and pointless war on drugs?

I am looking forward to hearing from the noble Baroness; I think I know what she is going to say.

I will respond to the noble Lords, Lord Coaker and Lord Paddick. On the impact—the question of what the problem is—I think most people would agree that illegal drugs inflict some devastating effects on a quite horrifying scale. The cost to society is colossal, running to about £20 billion a year. There were almost 3,000 deaths relating to drug misuse in 2020. This represents two-thirds of registered drug poisoning deaths and accounts for 52.3 deaths per million people. Heroin-related deaths in England have more than doubled since 2012 and make up the largest proportion of drug misuse deaths at 45%.

In 2020 alone, referrals of children suspected to be victims of county lines—I will get on to that shortly—increased by 31%. Drugs drive nearly half of all homicides and a similar proportion of acquisitive crimes such as robbery, burglary and theft. More than 3 million adults reported using drugs in England and Wales in the last year, and more than one in three 15 year-olds report having ever taken drugs.

The noble Lord, Lord Paddick, asked whether we had done an assessment on the impact of a regulated market for cannabis. I do not think we have. Our position on cannabis remains the same as the last time I spoke about this, but if I have anything new to add I will let him know.

On the additional three-year investment from April next year, the total is £900 million. There is a £300 million three-year Home Office investment, and we commit to making up to £145 million of funding available for county lines—as I said, I will get on to that in a second. There is £533 million—more than half a billion pounds—for DHSC to increase and improve treatment services, £120 million for MoJ for drug treatment and probation services, £68 million for DLUHC for treatment and support in England for those with a housing need, and £21 million for DWP to roll out individual employment support across all local authorities in England. As noble Lords can see, it is a cross-Whitehall effort—across six departments, in fact. The noble Lord, Lord Coaker, talked about co-ordinated programmes. He is absolutely right: if we are operating across six departments, we must certainly have a co-ordinated approach.

The noble Lord asked whether the statistic of 1,500 county lines being shut down means we have caught 1,500 criminals or just that 1,500 phone numbers have been taken out of circulation. In the last two years, our county lines programme has delivered more than 1,500 lines closed, more than 7,400 arrests, £4.3 million in cash and significant quantities of drugs seized, and more than 4,000 vulnerable people safeguarded. It means that 1,500 active county deal lines have been closed and found to remain out of use, which is good news. Through our programme we will continue to focus on arresting and charging the line holder and securing criminal justice outcomes to ensure that we put offenders behind bars. The National County Lines Coordination Centre determines that a line is closed when there is evidence that the controlling gang is no longer capable of distributing drugs using that telephone number, with check-backs to ensure that the telephone number remains out of use.

The noble Lord also asked me how we would measure ourselves and what progress looks like. By 2024 we expect the whole-of-government mission to have prevented nearly 1,000 deaths, reversing the upward trend in drug deaths for the first time in a decade. We expect it to have delivered a phased expansion of treatment capacity, with at least 54,500 new high-quality treatment places, which would be an increase of 20%, including 21,000 places for opiate and crack users, delivering 53% of opiate and crack users into treatment. We expect at least 7,500 more treatment places for people either sleeping rough or at immediate risk of sleeping rough, which would be a 33% increase on current numbers. We expect to provide a treatment place for every offender with an addiction, because the two are so often linked.

We also expect that this strategy will have contributed to the prevention of 750,000 crimes, including 140,000 neighbourhood crimes, through increases in drug treatment. We expect it to have closed over 2,000 more county lines through our relentless and robust action to break the model and bring down the gangs running these illegal lines, and to have delivered 6,400 major and moderate disruptions—that would be a 20% increase —against the activities of organised criminals, including arresting influential suppliers, targeting their finances and dismantling their supply chains. These are the ambitions on which we should be judged.

On the noble Lord’s point that we are simply reversing the cuts made since 2010, the strategy is underpinned by a record investment of nearly £900 million of additional funding over the three years, as I said, taking the total investment in combating drugs to £3 billion over the next three years. It sets out our landmark whole-of-government approach to tackling drug misuse, with more leading departments than ever before.

The noble Lord, Lord Paddick, asked about county lines, on which we are already delivering real impact. In the past two years, our county lines programme has delivered more than 1,500 lines closed, as I told the noble Lord, Lord Coaker, with 7,400 arrests and £4.3 million in cash. The latest national co-ordination centre assessment of county lines shows a reduction in the total number of potentially active lines, an important point, with numbers reported to have fallen from between 800 and 1,000 in 2019-20 to 600 in 2021. There is more to be done on county lines programmes through this strategy. We will be investing up to £145 million to tackle the most violent and exploitative distribution model seen yet. We will continue funding the National County Lines Coordination Centre to provide that vital national strategic oversight. We will also focus on the largest exporter areas, alongside dedicated surge funding for local police forces to tackle county lines and grip the transport network through the dedicated British Transport Police’s county lines taskforce, invest in new technology including ANPR, and fund provision of specialist support for vulnerable children, young people and families involved in county lines activity.

We do not have plans for decriminalisation of drug possession generally. Our approach to drugs remains clear. We must prevent drug misuse in our communities and support people through treatment and recovery, which is one of the main planks of the strategy.

My Lords, in the absence of any evidence-based drug policies in this country, which would include heroin treatment centres linked to staffed consumption rooms to tackle very effectively polydrug use and heroin use, and in the absence of readily available medical cannabis to about 1 million people who need it—I could go on—can the Minister confirm that the small increase in funding for treatment envisaged in this strategy will not, even in the third year, fully compensate for the cuts in spending on treatment? Taking into account, as the Government tend not to do, the cuts to Home Office and probation service funding of treatment, as well as the funding from local authorities, can the Minister confirm that even in year 3, when the largest increase will come into play, we will not even get back to all those years ago, before the cuts began? As the Minister knows, Carol Black was prohibited from looking at any change in the law, and it is only with change in the law that one will achieve good evidence-based policies on drugs.

I think that the noble Baroness knows, even before asking the question, that we do not intend to change the law. However, I thought that she might be quite pleased by the focus of one of the pillars, which is treatment and support for drug users. She will also not be surprised to know that we do not have any plans to introduce drug consumption rooms. Anyone running them would be committing a range of offences including possession of a controlled drug and being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug. We support a range of evidence-based approaches to reduce the health-related harms of drug misuse, such as maintaining—oh, I cannot find the page in my notes, so I will get back to her on this in a second.

My Lords, I will follow on from the contribution by the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, reflecting on the long-term failure of decades of the so-called war on drugs. I imagine that the Minister is aware of the 2005 report from the Downing Street strategy unit. It concluded that, to have a tangible effect on drug flows in this country, 60% to 80% of drugs coming in would have to be seized. The seizure rate has never been higher than 20%. This Statement talks about tougher enforcement action. Does the Minister still agree with those figures from 2005 and, with this tougher enforcement action, what estimate do the Government have of the percentage of drug flows that will be stopped?

May I finish answering the noble Baroness, Lady Meacher? We want to maintain the availability of needle and syringe programmes to prevent blood-borne infections and widen the availability of Naloxone to prevent overdose deaths. I do not know the document to which the noble Baroness, Lady Bennett of Manor Castle, refers. I went through some of the figures for drug deaths with the noble Lord, Lord Coaker. We will not go soft on some of the penalties that we have for drug use and drug dealing. As I told the noble Baroness, Lady Meacher, the focus of one of the pillars is helping people with treatment and rehabilitation.

My Lords, notwithstanding the complexity of the current crisis, as detailed by the noble Lords, Lord Coaker and Lord Paddick, and the noble Baroness, Lady Bennett, I welcome this strategy. I have raised the matter of the severe cuts in services over the past decade since I led Addaction, a national pilot by Breaking the Cycle, a project funded by the Zurich Community Trust that invested nearly £1 million over five years to work successfully with 500 families. That is how much it costs when you are doing it right, as is acknowledged on page 55 of the strategy, which is about the complexity of the services required. I hope that the strategy that is to be implemented will add hope for people who have been waiting for services. Can the Minister and her department not reinvent the wheel for services which are already out there waiting to be called, by the Government and local authorities, to make themselves available to very vulnerable families?

My Lords, I agree most wholeheartedly. It is not about reinventing wheels but about seeing what works, and about what new interventions might help people to rebuild their lives. There is all this talk about decriminalisation, but drugs destroy lives—we have all seen those effects.

I welcome the report and congratulate the Government on being prepared to set out a strategy. I can understand why some people are unhappy about part of it. Alcohol is quoted as the great place to go for a wonderful life with wonderful regulation and without all the consequential problems that you have with an unregulated market. All I can say is that, if we had a strategy on alcohol that set out some of the targets that we have here, I would almost think about joining the Government.

I declare an interest, in that I am the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Twelve Steps Recovery Programme for Addiction, which covers not just alcohol but gambling and drugs and a whole range of things. We have already had an intervention in the Commons, and we have been offered a ministerial meeting over the recovery part of the report—over whether you are prepared to spend more time trying to get people totally sober, because we feel that the effort to try to get recovery and sobriety in so many areas has been falling so short.

In particular, we have harm reduction with methadone, and the rumour is that we are now spending £1 billion a year on methadone; it is very difficult to get to the real figures, but the story is that it is £1 billion a year. We did not have methadone available at all in 2006, when it first came around. How many people have secured sobriety during that period? How much work has been done to try to get them sober and off the drugs—because it is a drug, and it has its consequences. People die from methadone. That is the kind of research that needs to be done—then we can try to look for adequate resourcing.

I am grateful that the Minister has set out targets. Those of us who want to see recovery will be trying to keep her nose to the grindstone on it, so we deliver on them. I am sorry that we do not have the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, with us today, because much of this problem of course ends in jail. That is where we need more openness in jails, to admit people who are willing to assist people to get recovery. We have found with the 12-step programme—

Sorry, we need a full debate on this. My question is on the 12 steps. Will the Government commit themselves to apply them more fully than they have done in the past, and will they do a proper record of the work that is done and research on that?

I am very pleased to have heard from the noble Lord, Lord Brooke, who equates the harms from alcohol with the harms from drugs. Socially, in many cases, the harms from alcohol are worse, because it is so freely available. He is right that quite often these things end in prison—whether it is drugs or alcohol. He talked about the ministerial meeting, and I would be very happy to join him in that if he wishes—and I would also be very happy if he wanted to join the Government. It is not my call, though.

The original impetus for a new strategy came from Dame Carol Black’s review of drugs, which recommended the setting up of this cross-government drugs unit, responsible for co-ordinating and delivering a drugs strategy. Of course, our strategy goes wider than just the health harms—although the noble Lord’s point about alcohol stands just as much. That said, I look forward I hope to joining him, and take on board all the points that he makes.

While the situation in England and Wales is bad, it is even worse in Scotland, which has the highest level of drugs deaths in Europe. The SNP Government have always tried to blame this on Westminster, saying that it is because the Government here refuse to change the law—but, of course, that ignores the fact that the law is the same in Scotland, England and Wales. What are the UK Government doing to counteract this propaganda that comes from the “Comical Alis” up in Scotland?

From some of the contributions that we have heard today, clearly some of the propaganda works. Drug consumption rooms are in Scotland, and they do not work. Scotland has a huge drugs problem, and its strategy clearly has not worked. This is not a strategy for the whole UK but aligned to the devolved and reserved policies led by the six contributing departments; we continue to work with devolved authorities, so certain aspects cover England, Scotland and Wales. I am very glad that the noble Lord mentioned it, because he is absolutely right.

Is there going to be any detailed work on looking at the relationship between violent crime and the constant and steady use of marijuana, particularly the refined types of marijuana?

I can tell the noble Lord from my own personal experience that I have seen some horrific outcomes from the use of synthetic marijuana, and not only on children, with the effect on the growing brain leading to schizophrenia and other things. It can also lead on to the development of paranoia and all sorts of other things, including violence. I completely agree with the noble Lord that some of the linkages are quite clear. Of course, it is what it goes on to develop to, with the use of other drugs as well.

My Lords, the pre-briefings in the Sunday paper, before the Statement was delivered in the other place, talked about middle-class drug users losing their passports. When we actually look at the Statement, we can see that it refers to there being consequences, and it talks about restrictions on movement. It does not explicitly talk about passports or, indeed, driver’s licences, as was pre-briefed. Can the Minister tell me whether that is part of something that the Government are considering and, furthermore, whether they have considered the fact that some people have passports for more than one nationality, so people who only have British passports would suffer further from this? Furthermore, how might not having access to ID such as driver’s licences and passports affect people who have problematic drug use and are struggling to get their life on track?

Well, I guess if you do not have a driver’s licence or a passport you cannot have it taken off you. We are considering a wide range of interventions on this. I read the article about the middle-class drug use. If there is anything I could wish for, it is that any middle-class people using drugs at weekends who think that it is a victimless crime would realise that that is absolutely wrong. It causes untold misery—and if there was a public service campaign that could be put out, I would love to see something like that.