Additional Government funding for drug rehabilitation is not earmarked, and in Oslo and Trondheim, only part of the money has gone to improve the situation of drug abusers.
In 2016, the Norwegian municipalities received 400 million extra for strengthening the focus on alcohol and drug work, as part of the government’s national substance abuse project.
Klassekampen newspaper has gone through budgets of the five largest cities, and it turns out that not all the money arrived.
There were also increases in the number of overdose deaths in this country. Oslo received 88 million for an additional effort in the drugs field in 2016, but only half went to this area. 44 million was spent on other items in the budget.
‘This money was included in the rightwing’s (høyresidens) last budget. When we took over, we prioritised the new funds we found for our main campaigning issues; such activities as school, elderly care and kindergarten’, said councillor for the elderly, Inga Marte Thorkildsen in Oslo, who’s department is also responsible for drug rehabilitation.
Also in 2017, the council are planning to use a portion of the drugs money in other areas.
In Trondheim, they received an extra 13 million in 2016, and only 4.3 million has gone to drug rehabilitation. In 2017, they are planning a major initiative that will require all of 10 million that they stand to gain.
Health Minister Bent Høie is disappointed that Oslo and Trondheim have not prioritised drug rehabilitation. He says they do not want to earmark funds, so to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy.
Bergen, Stavanger and Kristiansand, however, have spent virtually all the money they received for what it was intended for.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today