New information from a Freedom of Information (FoI) request reveals that Richmond council has cut its treatment services for drug and alcohol addiction by more than any other borough which responded.

The data, which compares how much London councils were spending on treatment services in the 2013/14 financial year compared to this year, was requested by UK Addiction Treatment Centres and saw 18 of 33 councils respond.

Richmond council is spending nearly £4 million less on addiction treatment services now than it was six years ago, with the next biggest reduction in spending coming from Camden borough - which had seen a reduction in spending of around £3 million.

Eytan Alexander, Managing Director of UKAT said: “If less money is being spent by local councils on placing those most vulnerable into treatment, then we will undoubtedly see even more public rehabs having been forced to close their doors by this time next year."

Councils which responded to the FoI request collectively spent around £79 million in 2013/14, but that figure is now down 30 per cent, with the responding councils collectively spending around £56 million this financial year to help with drug and alcohol addiction.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Today the borough of Richmond Upon Thames spends just £1,147,700 on treatment facilities - £3,950,925 less than the £5,098,625 which was spent six years ago.

Mr Alexander added: “Not everyone can afford to pay for their addiction treatment, but everyone deserves to be treated and to be given a second chance at life.

“We urge councils across London to make better budget decisions next year. Support your local free rehab services because at the minute it feels like you’ve lost all humanity.”

A spokesperson for Richmond Council said: “Richmond and Wandsworth commissioned a new inpatient detoxification service from April 2016 which more closely reflects our actual need for this service, in which the majority of treatment is most effectively provided in community settings.

“We base our services on service need. This is based on the data as provided by Public Health England which is based on estimated prevalence, and the local Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. Both of which are available to the general public.”