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Our response to the “Swift, Certain, Tough” White Paper

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In July 2022, the government published the white paper “Swift, Certain, Tough: New Consequences for Drug Possession“.

Our response asks several key questions of the government’s proposed approach:

1.      How should “so-called recreational drug use” be distinguished from drug dependence?

2.     How should local areas ensure people facing substance misuse and other areas of multiple disadvantage are not caught up unnecessarily, and detrimentally, by this new approach?

3.     How will policing, criminal justice, and health and care systems be expected to interact with each other to implement the approach? Where will responsibilities and accountabilities sit within this system, and will additional resource be made available?


4.     What research has been done about the consequences of expanding the drug test on arrest programme? How will local areas be supported to cope with what is potentially a significantly higher number of people entering the criminal justice system and/or the treatment system?

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Collective Voice is the national charity working to improve England’s drug and alcohol treatment and recovery systems