Services to help child addicts patchy or non-existent

Help for children with drug addiction problems is patchy across
Scotland and non-existent in many areas, according to the latest
research commissioned by the executive.

York Consulting Limited and the School of Nursing and Midwifery
at Dundee University undertook a study of treatment and care
services in Scotland for children and young people with developing
or established problems with drug misuse.

Researchers found that children as young as 11 years were known
to have drug addictions often of multiple drugs combined with
smoking and alcohol. Of the 22 Drug Addiction Teams (DAT) in
Scotland, only 12, mainly in urban areas, reported services geared
to this age range.

The research found that 42 services were identified and
approximately 400 children and 800 young people had accessed these
services in the 12 months up to autumn 2001. But many of the
children reported distrusting the services, feeling they were not
supported and often disapproved of by staff and agencies.

Researchers also found that there was little consistency in the
methods deployed by these services with counselling being the main

In conclusion, the report calls for further strategic
development to fill the gaps in services, evaluation of styles of
intervention and their effectiveness, and exploration of the
attitudes and practice of key professionals such as social workers
and GPs.






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