GLOUCESTERSHIRE County Council is funding a leading charity with £5.8 million per year to provide drug and alcohol treatment services for people in the county.

The new service from health and wellbeing charity Via will start on April 1 and run for an initial 5 years, with the option to extend the contract up to a further 4 years, which would bring the total amount of funding to £52.2 million.

Via will provide free, confidential treatment and support to adults who live in Gloucestershire who need help with alcohol and drug issues. 

The service will be delivered from hubs in Cheltenham, Gloucester, and Stroud, as well as across an extensive network of community partnerships throughout the county. 

The council says research shows for every £1 spent on drug treatment, there is a social and economic benefit of £4, including reductions in health, social care, and offending costs.

Mark Hawthorne, leader of the county council and cabinet member for public health and communities, said: “I’m really pleased to welcome Via as Gloucestershire’s new community drug and alcohol treatment provider. 

“As well as helping some of our most vulnerable residents to turn their lives around, these services help to improve our communities.

“Housing, health, and social care services all benefit when drug and alcohol treatments are working effectively.”