Instead it will be “about linking up the services that are already there” said Home Office minister Sarah Newton, who told youngsters to just say no as she targets ‘chemsex’ drugs and ex-legal highs.
Tory ministers are today unveiling a drugs crackdown amid soaring death rates – though without forking out any extra cash.
Challenged on whether she was providing any new funds, Home Office minister Sarah Newton told the BBC it was “about linking up the services that are already there in a much smarter way.”
Chemsex drugs used to enhance sex and former legal highs, including Spice which has blighted the streets of Manchester, will be prime targets in the new government blitz.
In 2015/16, just over 8% of 16 to 59-year-olds in England and Wales took illegal drugs, down from 10.5% a decade ago.
But the number of drug misuse deaths in England and Wales rose dramatically in recent years to 2,479 in 2015 from 2,248 the year before, 1,957 in 2013 and 1,636 in 2012.
Ms Newton’s immediate solution was abstinence.
She told the BBC new-style drugs “are really harmful”, adding: “Good information would be ‘don’t take it’ because there’s no safe way to take these drugs.”
She later said: “There isn’t a safe way of taking psychoactive substances.” Psychoactive substances also include alcohol and pharmaceuticals.
Labour MP Karen Buck said the government was “expecting public health budgets to do more heavy lifting”, when analysis by the King’s Fund health think tank suggests they have been cut.