Our aim is to reduce repeat offending among all drug misusing offenders by 25 per cent. by 2005, and by 50 per cent. by 2008. For young offenders in particular, we have introduced a raft of measures to tackle the problem of drug abuse, including a comprehensive drug strategy for young offenders in prison; the Youth Justice Board is extending the drug treatment programmes and services available to juveniles. In addition, we have introduced the drug treatment and testing order, a new community sentence targeted at problem drug users aged 16 and over.
I thank my hon. Friend for her reply. In Leyland, in my constituency, there is genuine concern that young people with drug problems who are not classed as young offenders still have to wait far too long to get access to drug treatment; they often have to leave Leyland and go to other places to get treatment. Does my hon. Friend agree that it is crucial that local drug services be readily available, both for offenders and non-offending young people with drug problems? I am highlighting Leyland in my constituency, but such problems exist in many areas, which is unacceptable. If the drug strategy on which the Cabinet Office, the Home Office and the Department of Health are working is to be effective, those waiting times need to be speeded up and access to facilities improved.
I certainly agree with my hon. Friend, not least because we want to prevent young people who may be misusing substances from getting into offending. My hon. Friend therefore makes an important point, and I commend him on the interest that he has taken in the issue in his own constituency. Under the 10-year strategy, £153 million has been allocated to young people's services over the next three years. Only£24 million of that sum is for youth justice; the rest is to be used to develop non-offending specific services for young people. The new National Treatment Agency, established in April, will oversee that development.
My hon. Friend is right: because we recognisedthe unevenness of provision across the country, the Government took that initiative last year. I can also tell him that, at the very least, a new community drugs team is planned for Leyland, in addition to the Chorley team, which will begin to have an impact soon.
Let me make it clear: in our 10-year national drug strategy, we had a top priority—
I shall answer the question in my own time and in my own way. Our priority is to deal with class A drugs, which do the greatest harm. The Government have no intention of legalising controlled drugs, but we are interested in the experiment in Lambeth and in what it can help us to understand about the effective policing of the drugs that do most damage to our young people.
Does my hon. Friend agree that many young offenders are multiple drug abusers, and that one of the drugs for which there seems to be insufficient detoxification units in London is alcohol? If the Government do not yet have an alcohol strategy ready, will she consider including the abuse of alcohol in the existing drugs strategy?
I agree with my hon. Friend. So far, services for alcohol misusers have concentrated too much on adults and not sufficiently on young people. My hon. Friend will know that, by March next year, the new drug action teams are required to produce plans for their areas to deal with young people's substance misuse across the spectrum of drugs, including alcohol. In the light of those plans, we shall be discussing with the Department of Health what we need to do to put the focus on alcohol misuse. I agree with my hon. Friend that such a focus is necessary.