Wirral Council has received £2.8 million to tackle high levels of drug-related deaths and crimes through the national ADDER Accelerator Programme.
ADDER stands for Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery – a programme launched by the government to reduce drug-related deaths, hospital admissions and drug related offending.
It was recently expanded and Wirral was added to the programme, along with eight other areas.
The council stated it would spend the funding over two years, 2021-2023, to reduce drug-related crime and harm to health.
It intends to use the funding towards increasing staff capacity and supporting case work in the area.
There is also a need for treatment to be more accessible to those suffering from their addiction.
Work has already been planned for more use of the medication Naloxone to be supplied to Wirral Way to Recovery.
Naloxone is used as an emergency medication to reduce the effects of an overdose of opioids such as heroin and methadone.
This method has already proven to reduce the amount of deaths which are caused by an overdose.
The council has stated, however, that there may be some limitations to the programme such as issues in recruiting qualified staff quickly in order to fulfil the goals within the two-year period.
The council must use the funding specifically for the issues outlined in the programme.
If the council underspend, then the money left over will have to be returned to the Home Office for Health Improvements and Disparities.