Home > NI: Teenage drink and drug abuse figures cause for concern.

[Belfast Telegraph] , Kilpatrick, Chris NI: Teenage drink and drug abuse figures cause for concern. (06 Aug 2012)

External website: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-natio...

Steady numbers of teenagers every week require hospital treatment for the effects of drink and drugs — with an increase in legal highs noted by medical staff, latest figures have revealed.

A total of 260 individual cases were reported of patients under the age of 18 who were seen from 2007 until June of this year, according to the Belfast Trust.

The majority of clients seen by the trust’s Drug and Alcohol Misuse Mental Health Service (DAMMHS) are considered substance abusers with “co-morbid mental ill-health” inclusive of alcohol and drugs.

These drugs include solvents, glue, prescribed and non-prescribed medications.

According to the statistics, the most common drug that is used is herbal cannabis.

And the body says that there has been an increase over the past five years in the number of young people using legal highs.

DAMMHS is a service for young people aged 18 and under.

While it couldn’t provide a concise breakdown of the numbers involved, it confirmed that there have been occasions in the past four years since the body has been operational when young people under the age of 15 have required treatment.

According to DAMMHS, the majority of patients are aged between 15 and 18.

In the last six months of 2007, 11 young people were treated for drink or drugs abuse.

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