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Substance misuse services to receive funding boost

Welsh health boards will receive increased funding for substance misuse services as part of a package of measures to tackle problem drinking.

The £1m extra investment will take overall funding for substance abuse services to £18m in 2018/19.

Health secretary Vaughan Gething announced the extra money as the Welsh Assembly was due to vote on a Bill introducing minimum unit pricing for alcohol later today.

If the vote is passed, the Bill will go into its second legislative phase and be considered by Assembly commitees.

If the Bill is passed, sometime later this year, the intention is to bring in minimum pricing a year later.

This comes as Scotland is due to introduce a minimum unit price of 50p from 1 May.

Mr Gething said minimum pricing would be a ‘major new and important tool’ in the fight against alcohol-related illness.

But he added: ‘I’ve been very clear, that it will not work in isolation. Alcohol policy in Wales requires a variety of approaches, which taken together, can generate change.

'That’s why we are supporting people throughout Wales to develop a healthier relationship with alcohol, through our Substance Misuse Strategy, and end the sad spectacle of people dying from drink.’

Alcohol was to blame for 54,000 hospital admissions in Wales in 2015/16. It caused the deaths of 504 people in Wales in 2016.

 

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