Substance misuse in the West Midlands

The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse has today published its report, Getting to grips with substance misuse among young people (pdf, 54kb), which indicates that increasing numbers of teenagers in the West Midlands are receiving help for drug and alcohol problems through increased access to services in the region.

The report shows that the vast majority of the 2,447 young people helped with drug and alcohol problems in the West Midlands last year received specialist treatment such as counselling-based services to overcome harms caused by cannabis or alcohol use and reduce further risks to their health and wellbeing.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Nearly nine in ten of the young people recorded receiving specialist help in the West Midlands in 2007/08 were being treated for problems with cannabis or alcohol use. 1,287 (53 per cent) were being treated primarily for cannabis use and 874 (36 per cent) for alcohol.
  • Addiction to substances is rare among under-18s so the balance of interventions provided and supported through a broad range of children’s services are markedly different to the treatment received by adults.
  • Very few of the young people recorded are being treated for hard drugs. 169 under-18s in the West Midlands entered substance misuse services for heroin/opiates (3 per cent), cocaine (3 per cent) and crack (less than 1 per cent,) as the main drug of misuse, and they receive specialist treatment support.
  • 62 per cent of young people in the West Midlands receiving interventions were male, which is broadly consistent with national trends.
  • 58 per cent of young people in the West Midlands who finished their programme in 2007/08 achieved the goals in their personal care plan.

The report uses data collected since 2005 through the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) and includes previously unpublished figures for the numbers young people provided with interventions for alcohol misuse.

Further reading

This and other data, research and strategies relating to substance misuse, treatment and services is available through the Observatory-hosted Resource Catalogue and from the West Midlands Public Health Observatory.

Here are links to some of the region’s drug and alcohol action teams:

There are two national strategies that are also relevant to this area of research.

Parts of this post are based on a press release (pdf, 31kb) from the National Treatment Agency.

One Response

  1. […] These reports and further research are available in the Regional Resource Catalogue. You may also be interested in a previous Observations post, Substance misuse in the West Midlands. […]

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