More teenagers in England who need it are receiving help for problems involving drug and alcohol use, but fewer have problems severe enough to require treatment for addiction, new national statistics reported today by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA), show.
The number of teenagers entering treatment for heroin and crack has fallen by a third in four years according to the NTA report ‘Substance misuse among young people – The data for 2008/09’; this echoes the trend already seen in young adults (aged 18-24) in drug treatment.
The overall number of under-18s accessing specialist substance misuse services in England during 2008/9 was 24,053. This is a modest increase of about 150 over 2007/8, and indicates that demand for such services is levelling out. The vast majority of these young people are receiving help for problems associated with the misuse of cannabis and/or alcohol, which are treated with structured counselling. Drug treatment services in England are now widely available and anyone who needs help can get it quickly.
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. . . . . .