Sheffield City Council has released plans for a citywide response to drugs from now until 2022.
The Sheffield Drug Strategy 2018-2022 highlights how partnership working across the city will respond to drug use by people of all ages – reducing demand, restricting supply thorough enforcement activity and promoting recovery; celebrating the fact that people can and do recover, and that there are excellent services to support this.
Subject to approval at the council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 18th July, the Drug Strategy will take a city-wide approach to prevention and intervention regarding all kinds of drug use.
This city-wide response approach has been developed as tackling drug misuse is not down to one organisation or group. It impacts everybody in one way or another: the people using drugs, their families, children and friends and the communities they live in. The council wants to take a pragmatic and compassionate approach to addressing all of these issues.
To help make sure that fewer people use drugs the council has identified a number of ambitions including adopting a city-wide drug misuse prevention approach which works with people throughout their lives, particular recognising and responding to children and young people who are vulnerable to drug misuse.
To provide thorough enforcement, the council will work in partnership with South Yorkshire Police and other criminal justice agencies to address drug related offending ranging from anti-social behaviour and acquisitive crime, to organised crime and drug dealing.
Helping people to stop using drugs will be tackled by the council continuing to oversee the provision of effective drug treatment and support for children, young people and adults. The council will prioritise evidence based treatment interventions for all, and work hard to challenge inaccurate public perceptions around drug use. Combatting stigma is also a priority.
If the strategy is approved at Cabinet, these ambitions will be turned into a detailed action plan for implementation.
Councillor Chris Peace, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said: “We’ve got plenty of work to do to continue and improve on the effective citywide response to drug use. Our adult drug treatment services are open access and anyone walking into them will be seen there and then. No-one in Sheffield waits any longer than 3 weeks to begin structured treatment.
“But we know that drug-related deaths are increasing, mirroring national trends. That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive strategy with a holistic approach that will prioritise prevention of drug use, respond to the needs of and reduce harm to people of all ages, those at risk of harm from other people’s drug use and young people aged 16-24 years who are more likely to take drugs.”
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children Young People and Families said: “I welcome this all age Drug Strategy and its emphasis on a city wide preventative and intervention approach, bringing all partners together to tackle the harm that drug use can cause to individuals, families and communities. By providing education, early help and recovery support, reducing demand and restricting supply by tackling organised crime and drug dealing through enforcement, I know we will help change the lives of many children, young people and adults.”