Drug advisory committees have been established now in 187 of the 192 health districts in England, and in all the health regions. These committees are responsible for three things; monitoring the prevalence of drug misuse locally, advising authorities on the development of services; and promoting collaboration between the various statutory and voluntary agencies working with drug misusers. All regions are expanding the services available to drug misusers and the Department is monitoring their development closely.
I welcome that statement from my hon. Friend. Will sufficient funds be made available in future years to continue this good work, which is something which is particularly difficult in those health authorities which are not funded up to resource allocation working party standards, particularly in the south of England?
I know that my hon. Friend takes a close interest in this subject and has been working with the standing conference on drug abuse. I commend him for his efforts. We have allocated an additional £372,000 in this financial year to the South-East Thames regional health authority for drug misuse, and it has added £200,000 of its own money. I am delighted to say that every district in the region has set up drug advisory committees, which are making considerable progress.
Given the obvious concern about, and the threat to health posed by, the re-use of hypodermic needles by heroin addicts, has any progress been made in the development of needles that cannot be re-used?