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DrugScope responds to latest figures on young people’s drug treatment

Thursday 1 November 2012

DrugScope today responded to the latest figures from the NTA on the numbers of young people accessing specialist drug treatment.

Martin Barnes, Chief Executive of DrugScope, said:

“The improvement in treatment outcomes and the continued reduction in the number of young people accessing specialist services for problems with drugs and alcohol are both encouraging.

“However, as the NTA report identifies, although the reduction in numbers in treatment is consistent with an overall decline in drug use, the picture is complex when it comes to young people’s needs and the type of problems they are coming to services with.This includes problems associated with cannabis use.

“It is vital that investment in young people’s treatment continues.The experience of many DrugScope members is that local spending cuts are impacting significantly and disproportionately on service provision for young people.A recent report from the UKDPC, Domino Effects, which DrugScope supported, also reflected this.While in the short-term, it may be difficult to get a full picture of the impact of spending cuts on referrals, access and cross-agency working, particularly where service provision is reconfigured, the omens are not encouraging.

“In crude financial terms, we know that investment in young people’s treatment is cost effective.And on a wider canvas, the difference made in terms of prevention and improving future life chances is substantial.”