SOUTHAMPTON is set to benefit from £650,000 to tackle drug and alcohol addiction across the city.

The Department of Health and Social Care has named Southampton as one of the first 50 local authorities with the "highest level of need".

It is set to receive £654,506 for its drug strategy allocation, plus £58,364 to fund inpatient detoxification.

The city is among the first wave of 50 local authorities receiving funding based on the local drug death rate, deprivation, opiate and crack cocaine prevalence and crime rates.

READ MORE: More people are dying whilst undergoing drug treatment in Southampton

Based on the latest ONS figures, there were 38 deaths related to drug misuse in Southampton between 2020 and 2018. 

In total, there were 8,185 deaths in England over the same period.

The funding is part of a £780m national investment over three years that was recently announced by Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, according to the UK Addiction Treatment Group.

The news has been praised by Southampton charities who said they welcome the extra cash.

A spokesperson from No Limits, which supports young people, said: "No Limits is incredibly excited about the potential this money will bring to the lives of children and young people.

"Substance use is a complex issue and is often not about the substance itself; and can be exacerbated by emotional and mental wellbeing, relationships, and pressures of daily life.

"Having the funding and ability to work holistically with more young people, identify needs earlier and provide more education means young people can feel supported, not judged, and understood in their journey into adulthood.”

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Minesh Patel is the director of Change Grow Live, an organisation specialising in substance misuse and which has a branch in Southampton. 

He said: "This additional resource will not only help us to develop the existing services in the area, but most importantly, it will provide us with the tools to reach more people in need.

"We will now be working proactively with Southampton City Council and local communities to ensure this funding is used effectively and our services are even more accessible.”

Councillor Lorna Fielker, the cabinet member for health, said the council is "pleased to receive additional funding".

She added: "As a council we support, commission and fund an effective range of free, confidential, support and treatment services to help people reduce harm, get control, recover and live happier, healthier lives.

"We are committed to working in collaboration with our partners across the city to help reduce harm, and this additional funding will enable us to further improve the support available, increase the number of people receiving help and reduce the caseloads of the those helping them.”

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