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Fall in number of young people seeking treatment

Friday, October 9th, 2009 Fall in number of young people seeking treatment

There has been a fall in the number of young people seeking treatment for addiction to heroin and crack according to new statistics.

Figures obtained from the NHS’s National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) highlight a 30% reduction in the number of 18 to 24-year-olds in search of treatment form heroin and crack cocaine addiction, from 12,320 in 2005/06 to 8,603 in 2008/09.

The overall number of people being treated for heroin and crack problems in England has fallen from 64,288 to 61,636, however there has been a 20% increase in the proportion of over-35s seeking treatment for the first time for heroin and crack, rising from 20,465 in 2005/06 to 24,414 in 2008/09.

NTA chief executive Paul Hayes said: “Problem drug use associated with heroin and crack appears to be declining among 18 to 24-year-olds coming into treatment.

“This means we may have passed the high-water mark for heroin addiction in this country. Treatment is the first step on the road to recovery, and while there are increasing numbers of the older ‘Trainspotting’ generation still entering treatment, more are also coming out the other side, free of their dependency.

“Now virtually anyone with a drug problem in England who needs help can get it and quickly.”

However, these figures also reveal that the number of people using cocaine is on the increase.

There are also a record number of adults being treated for dug addiction, totalling 207,580 adults in treatment in 2008/09.

Heroin and crack account for 83% of cases in which adults were seeking treatment in 2008/09, while cocaine accounted for 6% of cases and cannabis also accounted for 6%.

Of the 172,624 adults in treatment for crack and heroin problems, 162,000 (94%) “successfully completed or benefited” from their treatment. The number of 18 to 24-year-olds seeking treatment for cocaine abuse rose from 1,591 in 2004/05 to 2,998 in 2008/09.

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