Drug problems are damaging Sheffield's economy

Sheffield is to launch its first citywide drug strategy
Sheffield is to launch its first citywide drug strategy
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Drug dealers and addicts could hamper new businesses and deter visitors from coming to Sheffield.

Council officers say they want to help addicts but also appreciate some communities are suffering terrible effects including anti-social behaviour, offending, litter and drug dealing.

A report to the council’s Cabinet says: “Drug use impacts the economy in a number of ways. It costs public services significant amounts of money each year to respond to.

“It also impacts upon smaller local businesses where public drug use may lead to anti-social behaviour that could discourage new business ventures or impact on the success of existing businesses.

“Sheffield is increasingly becoming an attractive prospect for visitors with city centre developments progressing and visible drug use and associated issues is not helpful.”

The council is launching a citywide Sheffield Drug Strategy which looks at the current problems, achievements and the challenges ahead.

The first ever city drug strategy will be one document which provides a “pragmatic and compassionate response to drug use as well as a robust approach to prevention”.

It aims to deter people from starting drugs but also support addicts to stay safe and to recover.

The report adds: “Supporting people to recover from drug use increases the likelihood of employment for those individuals. It is in the interests of the economy that an effective drug strategy is in place.

“Drug use impacts individuals, families and communities. The impact on specific communities varies across Sheffield, with some communities being disproportionately affected. Some socially deprived communities are more vulnerable to drug use than others.

“Drug use can impact upon and change the atmosphere of communities and neighbourhoods in numerous ways. The cost of drug use, both to organisations treating the health problems associated with them, and to the individuals suffering them and their families, can be extreme.”

The report says those at risk of drug addiction are people from deprived communities, young people leaving care, those with childhood traumas or adults with mental health issues, homeless people or veterans.