The Nelson Trust responds to the Dame Carol Black Review on addiction treatment.


The long awaited second part of review into drugs policy has now been published. The Carol Black review on addiction treatment is an independent review commissioned by the government to evaluate the success of the current treatment system.

The review is a defining moment about how drug addiction, recovery and treatment should be handled in the United Kingdom. This review has come at a crucial moment, this year alone drug related deaths are at a record high, drug prevalence has increased, and treatment numbers have fallen.

This report shines a spotlight on the current state of addiction treatment in the U.K. and how we can determine a clear direction forward to help those who need our support. There exists a stark divide between those who can access treatment and those who cannot. Ensuring equal access to recovery must be a priority as we move forward, it will become a good measure of progress nationally.

“Drug-related deaths are currently at the highest level since records began. They have increased by nearly 80% since 2012” (ONS, 2021).

We are pleased to see trauma informed approaches being recognized, it is critical that the links between addiction, mental health and trauma are made visible.
It is encouraging to see the report call for increased support for those involved with the criminal justice system. Increasing provision for employment support and housing is an essential component for improving long term rehabilitation.

As we emerge from lockdown, we have an opportunity to review our national health response. It is vital that addiction treatment and preventative action is a core component of our response. We must collaborate with each other, sharing our best practice and work together to treat addiction. The Nelson Trust is committed to bringing, hope and long-term recovery to whose lives have been torn apart by addiction.

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