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Drugs: Rehabilitation

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people aged (a) under 18 and (b) between 18 and 21 years old were prescribed (i) methadone, (ii) subutex and (iii) other synthetic opiates by health professionals in the latest period for which figures are available. (321170)

Data on numbers of under-18s and 18 to 21-year-olds prescribed methadone, buprenorphine and other synthetic opiates are not collected centrally.

However there are data on the numbers of young people receiving specific treatment interventions for substance misuse, including pharmacological treatment.

The latest national statistics on young people in drug treatment show that in 2008-09 there were the following numbers of under-18s receiving pharmacological interventions and combinations of this with other interventions.


Young people specialist pharmacological interventions only


Psychosocial and pharmacological interventions only


Psychosocial and family work and pharmacological interventions only


Psychosocial and harm reduction and pharmacological interventions only



National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA)

Pharmacological interventions are interventions which include prescribing for detoxification, stabilisation and symptomatic relief of substance misuse as well as prescribing of medications to prevent relapse. These would include methadone, buprenorphine and other synthetic opiates.

In total, only 1 per cent. of under-18s in drug treatment are receiving pharmacological interventions.

Data on adult treatment interventions do not record ages and so data for 18 to 21-year-olds are unavailable.