Thursday, 24 December 2009

Teenage alcohol abuse up, but fewer people counselled for hard drug use

Record numbers of teenagers are receiving help for drug and alcohol problems, but the number of those undergoing counselling for heroin and crack use is falling, official figures show.

A total of 24,053 under-18s in England were treated in 2008-09, according to statistics from the NHS National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA). That was 150 up on the previous year, suggesting that demand for specialist services such as counselling and harm reduction is levelling off, said the NTA.

Almost nine in 10 of those got help for problems associated with their use of cannabis (12,642) or alcohol (8,799). However, the number of those getting help for their use of heroin or crack has fallen by about a third in the last four years. In 2005-06 a total of 1,081 did so but, last year, that number had fallen to 657. Those figures confirm the recent generational shift among those under 30 away from the two drugs, a trend experts have welcomed.

Similarly, while the number of young people being helped to tackle cocaine problems had risen from 453 in 2005-06 to 806 in 2007-08, it dropped to 746 last year. That constituted 6% of all teenagers who received help.

Addiction is rare among teenagers, said the NTA. "Evidence continues to suggest that overall drug and alcohol use among the general population of young people is declining, and the increasing availability of specialist substance misuse services ensures that many more of the minority who do need help are getting it." Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

No comments: