Skip to main content

Commissioning impact on drug treatment

The extent to which commissioning structures, the financial environment and wider changes to health and social welfare impact on drug misuse treatment and recovery

This report by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) looks at the extent to which commissioning structures, contracting arrangements and the financial environment are impacting on drug misuse treatment. The ACMD has been keen to report on this issue due to:

  • the significant changes occurring in health, social care and the criminal justice system in England;
  • emerging evidence of reductions in funding; and
  • concerns about the impact of trends in commissioning on drug misuse (and alcohol) treatment outcomes.


The Recovery Committee of the ACMD co-opted individuals with commissioning expertise and considered evidence from a broad spectrum of sources, including:

  • a review of published literature on changes in health, social care and criminal justice commissioning;
  • financial data on drug and alcohol misuse treatment;
  • surveys of substance misuse providers;
  • an online survey of and interviews with substance misuse commissioners;
  • two professional membership bodies;
  • Public Health England;
  • drug and alcohol misuse treatment providers; and
  • directors of public health.