High number of young opiate drug users emerges

A new government database of drug services will reveal a
surprisingly high number of young opiate users, a conference has
heard today, writes Simeon Brody.

Tom Aldridge, young person’s manager for the National
Treatment Agency, predicted the national drugs treatment monitoring
service, currently being piloted, would surprise people by showing
the true number of young opiate users in drug treatment

Aldridge told the drugs and alcohol today conference in London
that, as substance misuse services targeted at young people became
more established, there were likely to receive more self-referrals
from those currently not accessing support such as homeless people
and sex workers.

The true demand for young people’s substance misuse
services had probably been underestimated because of a lack of
robust local needs analysis, he argued.

“How can we have a high adult drug population but no young
people using drugs,” he said.

He predicted the waiting time target for young people’s
drug and alcohol services would be set at a maximum of three

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