Mr. Speaker,Abuse of Drugs Act 2020
Provisions on Treatment, Prevention, and Immediate Intervention
- Every police force throughout England and Wales will be provided with naloxone, paid for by the Government at no additional charge to the respective police forces. Police officers responding to calls relating to drug overdoses, and PCOS officers doing community walk throughs, will be required to carry naloxone on their person at all times. Officers responsible for carrying naloxone will undergo additional training in order to understand how to the use drug effectively.
- The National Institute for Health and Excellence's pilot program on Opiate Substitution Therapy will be fully funded and expanded across the whole of England, with medical professionals in hospitals and clinics being authorized to make once daily injections, or with pre-approved patients being able to receive a self-administered prescription after receiving authorization from a GP. Patients will only be permitted to participate in this scheme once approved to do so by a registered GP.
- A pharmacist led, Home Office administered scheme to authorize the use of drug checking sites will be piloted across England, with 25 pharmacies being licensed to operate drug checking sites throughout England. These sites will be evenly dispersed across England based on population and need. The sites will be administered by the pharmacies, and these pharmacies will be permitted to apply for a subsidy from the Government in order to purchase additional equipment and/or hire part time staff associated with operating the program. Data will be collected form these sites and sent on a monthly basis to Public Health England and the Home Office in order to inform Government policy on illicit drugs actively in use in the United Kingdom. Police officers will not be permitted to perform drug-related stop and searches outside drug checking sites.
Provisions on Diversion Programs
- Individuals found responsible for a first time offense of drug possession, without the intent to supply, will have the option to attend a mandatory drug education course rather than face prison time and a criminal record. Failure to complete this diversion program will result in resentencing.
- Every police force in England and Wales will have the power to give repeat offenders of drug possession, without the intent to supply, the option to attend a mandatory drug rehabilitation program rather than face prison time and a criminal record. Failure to complete this diversion program will result in resentencing.
Provisions on Sentencing Reform
- A mandatory minimum for individuals convicted of intention to supply a Class A drug will be imposed and set at 10 years. A mandatory minimum for individuals convicted of intention to supply a Class B or C drug will be imposed and set at 2 years.
- The maximum possible sentence for intention to supply a Class B or C drug will be raised to 20 years.
I beg this be read a second time.
(Note: A full speech will be posted tomorrow)