At present, the Department of Health holds the budget for Drug Action Teams, and ring- fences it for work with users of "controlled" drugs.

The result is an inequality of healthcare provision. A problem user of "controlled" drugs has a 1 in 2 chance of getting medical help, but the chance for an alcoholic is ten times worse.

 Once again, we can clearly see the political prejudices against "controlled" drugs working against the interests of public health. 1 in 13 UK adults is alcohol- dependent. This is a very seious problem for a very large number of people.

As Andrew Lansley devolves commissioning of services to GPs, he should include in this full responsibility for all the work Drug Action Teams currently do. So that the money can finally be dedicated accordfing to clinical need, not political prejudice.

 

Why is this idea important?

Because large numbers of alcoholics in the UK presently suffer health- care discrimination, reducing their chances of getting help, so the Government can pursue its own ideological agenda.

With alcohol one of the country's most serious health problems, the dogma has had its day.

 

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