DORSET has been handed £200,000 of funding to investigate and reduce demand for drugs among young people.
The cash has been allocated as part of a government project to research and develop interventions with young people that can be tested locally.
It is part of a 10-year plan to cut crime and save lives by reducing the supply and demand for drugs, alongside creating a high-quality treatment and recovery system.
Dorset is one of five areas to receive the funding, the others being Huddersfield, Derbyshire, Manchester, and the south east of England.
Working with Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council, Dorset Council will use the funding to explore and investigate drug use among young people and develop preventative programmes and support to reduce their vulnerability to illegal substances.
Cllr Byron Quayle, portfolio holder for people – children, education, skills and early help at Dorset Council, said: “It is crucial that we provide young people in Dorset with high-quality support and reach out to those at risk of drug use.
“Drug misuse has a massive cost to society. Not only does it impact the user but also their loved ones and society around them.
“We are strongly committed to reducing demand for illicit substances and provide early intervention to prevent the poor outcomes that result from drug use.”
Cathi Hadley, corporate director of children’s services at BCP Council, said: “We are sure that by following the Government‘s 10 Year Plan and with this vital funding we will be able to reduce the supply and demand of drugs, save lives, cut crime and anti-social behaviour right across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
“Research into young people’s drug use will support the development of high-quality preventative programmes and the grant will dramatically increase capacity in treatment and recovery services.
“Working with our partners at Dorset Police, the charity sector and the NHS we are determined to bring down the incidence of drug usage among young people throughout our community.”