Headlines: August 15th, 2000

The policy of pumping money and public service energy into combating drugs has been vindicated in a new survey. The NEW-ADAM (New English and Welsh Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring) research programme is designed to help the Government develop and monitor its anti-drugs strategy.Findings from research conducted in 1998, which has just been revealed, show a growing link between drugs and crime – with 69% of interviewees arrested testing positive for drugs. It also found that heroin and crack / cocaine users were four times more likely to shoplift, and five times more likely to commit robberies, than those not taking these drugs.

Since the research was undertaken 2 years ago the Government has expanded arrest referral schemes and introduced the Drug Treatment and Testing Order. The Government’s Spending Review 2000 announced significant additional funding for the drugs strategy, and in particular, towards ensuring a step change in its delivery of treatment to drug misusers with the establishment of the National Treatment Agency.

The research programme is headed by Dr Trevor Bennett of the University of Cambridge and funded by the Home Office. The research just announced amounts to preliminary findings. The full programme will cover 16 sites across England and Wales. Fieldwork will be completed by March 2001 and then repeated every two years