Senior councillors approve new plan to tackle drug and alcohol misuse

Senior councillors in Leeds have approved a tough new action plan aimed at tackling the impact of drug and alcohol misuse across the city.

Leeds City Council’s executive board met today (Wed, Nov 6) to discuss the Leeds Drug and Alcohol Strategy and Action Plan.

The document will now act as a blueprint for the way the authority and its partners will promote a responsible attitude to alcohol and provide help for families and communities affected by drug use over the next three years.

The strategy comes after the council was asked to take charge of the city’s drug and alcohol prevention, treatment and recovery in line with national guidelines earlier this year.

It has been drafted following extensive local engagement, with feedback from key stakeholders taken from events held around the city.

Key findings included significantly higher rates of alcohol-related admission to hospital for people living in deprived areas of the city.

The council’s research also showed that, whilst the number of dependent opiate users in the city was falling, there has been an increase in the use of “legal highs”.

In a bid to tackle these problems, the strategy aims to ensure young people better understand the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Continued improvement in alcohol and drug treatment services and more support for children and families also form important elements of the overall strategy.

The council is also highlighting Alcohol Awareness Week which runs November 18-25, and has information on local support services at www.leedsletschange.co.uk

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said:

“As with many big cities across the UK, alcohol and drug misuse is a significant issue in Leeds and one that we are determined to tackle alongside our partner agencies.

“Drug and alcohol misuse can lead to increases in hospital admissions and can also be directly linked to levels of domestic violence and the numbers of children being taken into care.

“This strategy will ensure a joined up approach that will be instrumental in achieving our Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy goal of making sure people in Leeds live longer and have the support they need to lead healthier lives.

“Implementing this strategy will help the council to meet many of our strategic priorities and we are confident that by working together, we can help to ensure that fewer people, families and communities in our city will have to live with the often devastating consequences of drug and alcohol misuse.”

Cllr Peter Gruen, executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, added: “This strategy supports some of the council’s key community safety priorities.

“There is a direct link between drug and alcohol misuse and levels of crime and disorder and this new strategy will give vital, added support to the important work we already do to make the city safer.

“It also re-enforces our commitment to work alongside our partners and ensure that Leeds is a safe, healthy and vibrant city to live in.”

A further report will now be drafted later in the year which will set out plans to re-tender the city’s drug and alcohol services.


For more details, contact:

Stuart Robinson

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937

Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk