Children’s services staff ignorant on substance misuse

Children’s services practitioners are insufficiently informed about substance misuse, leading to inappropriate referrals to specialist agencies, a drugs professional said today.

Rebecca Cheshire, policy and practice manager for young people’s services at Addaction, spoke to an audience of healthcare professionals at the Primary Care 2006 conference in Birmingham.

“It’s amazing the number of referrals we get from professionals who think young people  smoking one spliff a week need drugs treatment,” said Cheshire.

Professionals should use screening tools to help them decide which cases to refer, she added.

However Cheshire also said that practitioners must always keep substance misuse in mind when seeing children, as it is such a big issue.




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