The Labour MP, Seema Malhotra, asked the Department of Health about the spending on drug and alcohol prevention and treatment.
The reply suggests that currently this data isn’t available (though we know that local authorities do already report their spending on young people’s substance misuse services), but that this may change.
Anna Soubry, the Public Health Minister, says:
Each local authority is free to determine their actual spend on alcohol and drug prevention, treatment and recovery based on an assessment of need. They will be required to report their spending in these areas on an annual basis.
What isn’t clear from the answer is whether the DH expect this to be broken down so that it is clearer how much (or little) is spent on prevention, treatment and recovery.
Given the importance that many government policies place on preventative work and in the context of how the last Focal Point report found it impossible to identify prevention spending at a local level it seems to that it would be important that this distinction is made.