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.