2011 March CityWide response to Programme for Government
Citywide welcomes the inclusion of the section on drugs in the recently published Programme for Government. We welcome the government 'providing renewed impetus' to tackling the drugs crisis. In recent years CityWide has campaigned to have the drug crisis a political priority. But the Government needs to clarify which department is going to take over the National Drugs Strategy (NDS) and the Office of the Minister for Drugs (OMD).
While we welcome many of the commitments in the programme for government we do have concerns about some. Particularly we take as a negative view of the commitment to ‘develop compulsory as well as voluntary rehabilitation programmes’. Rehabilitation programmes needs to be evidence based. CityWide would encourage the government to ensure that the ‘voluntary’ rehabilitation programmes delivered in local communities receive the full and adequate resources they need before scarce resources are diverted into ‘compulsory’ programmes that will have limited success.