Hundreds of young people treated for drug and alcohol abuse
Around 200 children and young people in Sheffield are receiving help for drug and alcohol abuse each year.
Over an average 12 months, the youngsters receive treatment with individual or group interventions, families are supported, and training is delivered to 500 professionals.
In Sheffield, hospital admissions linked to substance misuse among 15 to 24-year-olds is half the regional and national average, and the same again for alcohol misuse in under-18s.
In a report, Carol Fordham, vulnerable children and young people’s commissioning manager at Sheffield Council, says “Good quality drug and alcohol support and treatment services are proven to help to keep people safe, reduce harm, to identify their needs and to support them to achieve a positive outcome for themselves as individuals and the wider community.
“Treatment services support the reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour, improve young people’s health, and support families to stay together and to keep children safe.”
Young people who use recreational drugs are more prone to suicide, depression and disruptive behaviour disorders, says Public Health England.
The report adds: “Among 10 to 15-year-olds, an increased likelihood of drug use is linked to a range of adverse experiences and behaviour, including truancy, exclusion from school, homelessness, time in care and serious or frequent offending.”
The young people substance misuse service has been provided by the council for 15 years and while it’s part of a citywide drug strategy, the council says it’s important to keep separate services for children and adults for clinical and safeguarding reasons.
The report adds: “The nature of drug and alcohol problems in children and young people have a very different profile to those of adults, and the support interventions are quite different.
“The Youth Information Advice and Counselling Service offers young people aged 13-25 direct access to emotional wellbeing support.
“Substances are often used as a coping strategy for psychological distress and through drop-in and duty response, the service can respond to young people’s needs at an early stage.”