This response to the consultation “Breaking the Cycle” concentrates on those aspects relating to drug-related offenders. We welcome and broadly supports the general thrust of the proposals set out in the Green Paper and the conclusions reached relating to the importance of engaging drug-related offenders in treatment in order to improve longer term recovery and rehabilitation prospects.
The government’s recently published drug strategy places considerable emphasis on improving recovery prospects for those entering and exiting drug treatment programmes. As the Home Secretary says in her introduction to the document, “Individuals do not take drugs in isolation from what is happening in the rest of their lives. The causes and drivers of drug and alcohol dependence are complex and personal. The solutions need to be holistic and centred around each individual, with the expectation that full recovery is possible and desirable.”
These causes and drivers include: social and environmental factors, such as poverty, disadvantage and social networks; and personal factors, such as experiences of abuse, and genetic make-up. The importance of fostering better understanding and knowledge about the ‘causes and drivers’ of substance abuse addiction cannot be underestimated because it will help inform what is feasible and achievable through the criminal justice system.