There are positive signs coming out of England regarding teenagers and the abuse of hard drugs and drug use in general.
Fewer teens need treatment for true addiction of drugs and while slightly more are receiving counseling for alcohol and marijuana, the number coming in this year for heroin and crack abuse are less than the year before.
The Numbers on Teenage Drug Abuse Treatment in England
The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) in England recently published their report titled “Substance Misuse among Young People — The data for 2008/09”. The total number of teens (individuals under 18 years old) that entered treatment services for substance abuse in England during 2008/09 was 24,053. This is only a 150 increase from the year before. This modest increase could hint at a positive trend and could indicate that drug abuse by teens, as derived from the number that require and are receiving treatment, is starting to stabilize.
Of the 24,053 teens seeking help for their drug problems, a very large percentage is due to the abuse of alcohol and marijuana. These problems are treated by widely available structured counseling, which is quickly and easily found in England. The number of teens receiving help for the use of marijuana was 12,742 and the number that sought treatment for alcohol abuse was 8,799. 90% of teens who entered a drug treatment program in England sought support for either one of these drugs.
The most optimistic sign in the report include a decline in the number of teens that entered treatment programs for the abuse of heroin and crack. The report shows that this number has decreased by one-third in four years, which is similar to the decline shown in the young adults (18-24 years old) group. In 2005/06, the number of teens entering treatment for heroin and crack was 1,081. In 2008/09, this number has dropped to only 657.
Teen cocaine abuse also showed positive signs of improvement. In 2008/09, 745 teens received help for cocaine use. This number is lower compared to 806 in 2007/08.
Teenagers and Drug Addiction
In England, the ready availability of drug treatment services and specialists for individual substances allows those who require and seek help to easily obtain it. They are able to receive the care they need to assist with their problem. While it is rare for teenagers to develop an actual dependency on drugs, the trend shows a decline in the reported incidence of addiction by teens over the last four years. Addiction is usually associated with a physical dependence on a drug that develops over regular and consistent use of drugs over time.
This generation of teens in England has shunned the use of heroin and crack and this could be a further sign that the feared heroin epidemic may have already peaked. The decline in the number receiving treatment could also be an indication that teens are going out to get treatment before their problems worsen and may become entrenched. This is important because it means that they are getting assistance before an addiction and dependency develops.
If you fear that you, your teen, or someone you love may be abusing drugs, get treatment before the problem worsens. Help is available by calling 866.697.7230. Have all your questions answered and your concerns addressed today.