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Young People: Drugs

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 7 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many adolescents who received treatment for addiction to each category of drug were drug-free for (a) their drug of choice and (b) all other intoxicating substances in the latest period for which figures are available. (325782)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what intervention is used in the treatment of (a) heroin dependency, (b) crack dependency and (c) cocaine dependency amongst the adolescents which the National Treatment Agency has identified as having a Class A drug dependency. (325797)

Young people's substance misuse is markedly different to that of adults, and so is the combination of treatment and support they receive. Addiction to Class A drugs among young people is rare, and although substitute prescribing for heroin dependency does occur, this represents only 1 per cent. of under-18s in drug treatment.

Instead, interventions for young people tend to centre on psychosocial counselling-based therapies, which attempt to address the underlying causes and the behavioural consequences of the young person's drug and alcohol misuse. Most young people's substance misuse problems are with alcohol and cannabis, but these psychosocial therapies are also used with young people who misuse crack and cocaine.

Specialist substance misuse services work closely with many other children's services and agencies in assessing and addressing every aspect of a vulnerable young person's life.