11,000 children addicted to drink and drugs get help

More than 11,000 children under 16 years old were treated last year for addictions to alcohol and drugs, including heroin, according to new figures released this week.
The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse puts the total figure of children treated at 11,294. This includes 6,075 under-16s addicted to cannabis, of which 102 are under 12 years old.
More than 4,000 children received help for alcoholism, including 57 under-12s.
The children addicted to class A drugs included ten under-12s who were dependent on heroin, out of 93 under-16s. A further 323 children were treated for cocaine misuse, 165 for ecstasy, and 36 for crack.
Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the government is neglecting a ‘forgotten generation’ of children. “It’s a sad indictment of our broken society that so many are turning to things like drug and alcohol abuse at such a young age” he said.
The Department of Health said the high figures were due to an increase in spending on treatment, a rise of £10million, from £15million to £25million in the past five years,
Funding for the government’s national anti-drug campaign which is aimed at teenagers has been cut by 41 per cent from £9.05million in 2006-7 to £5.35million today.
Charity Drugscope offered an optimistic approach to the figures, saying the overall numbers of young people using illegal drugs has fallen in recent years, especially cannabis.
Source: www.askamum.co.uk  8th July 2009

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