Sutton Council Cut Substance Abuse Programmes By £200,000

Funding for drug and alcohol addiction treatment services by Sutton Council has been reduced from £2.2 million in 2016/17 to £1.9 million in 2019/20.

By Anon, Sutton · May 19, 2020

image of young woman talking to a therapist
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Sutton Council has cut funding for substance abuse programmes by £210,162 since 2016.

Council funding for these services, which aim to treat and care for those struggling with drug and alcohol issues, has been reduced from £2.2 million in 2016/17 to £1.9 million in 2019/20.

152 teenagers were admitted to Epsom and St Helier Hospitals for drug-related illnesses last year.

Switch Sutton is a young person’s alcohol and drug service for anyone up to the age of 18 living in Sutton. 

Young people can access the service online or through phone calls and text messaging services, as well as out of hours and talk to a “friendly and approachable” worker who can offer them help, information and support.

The substance misuse services provide interventions, harm reduction programmes, one-to-one and group work support and rehabilitation.

There is also needle exchange, supervised consumption and GP shared care facilities and access to services such as housing support, welfare and mental health services on offer. 

A spokesperson for the council said: “Sutton Council is committed to providing compassionate, innovative and flexible support to children and young people who have substance misuse problems and also to prevent those who may be at risk.

“In light of COVID-19, messaging to providers and the public from Inspire (which provides a similar service to Switch for those over 18) has been developed and sent out to raise awareness amongst stakeholders, such as GPs that the services are still operational and receiving new referrals, as well as returning clients.”

The findings were made by media literacy charity The Student View following submission of a Freedom of Information request.