50% rise in children treated for cocaine addiction in UK

50% rise in children treated for cocaine addiction in UK

The number of British children being treated for cocaine addiction has increased by 50% in three years, figures showed today.

Last year 745 under 18s in England sought help from the National Treatment Agency for cocaine abuse, up from 453 in 2005/6.

Among them was a small group of very young children. Fourteen 12- to 14-year-olds and 169 14-16 year-olds needed help to get off the Class A drug.

The figures showed 15 children aged 12 or younger were treated for all Class A drug use last year.

Overall, nearly 25,000 under 18s needed addiction treatment for drugs and alcohol misuse last year, an increase of 150.

Half of those were for cannabis, more than a third for alcohol, but fewer teenagers are seeking treatment for crack and heroin.

Last year the agency treated 657 crack and heroin users, down from 1,081 in 2005/6.

Rosanna O’Connor, director of delivery at the NTA, said the figures indicated the heroin “epidemic” had peaked.

The falls reflect similar declines in crack and heroin use among young adults aged 18 to 24.

She said: “Most young people receiving substance misuse interventions cannot be described as addicts in the same way as adults in treatment.

“Addiction is normally the result of regular, consistent use of substances over time; most under-18s who have problems have not pursued drug taking long enough to result in dependency.”

More in this Section

Harry and Meghan leave royal life with pledge to help in coronavirus crisisHarry and Meghan leave royal life with pledge to help in coronavirus crisis

Strega Nona author Tomie dePaola dead at age 85Strega Nona author Tomie dePaola dead at age 85

New York governor begs for help amid ‘staggering’ death tollNew York governor begs for help amid ‘staggering’ death toll

UN chief says initial coronavirus cases in Syria just ‘tip of the iceberg’UN chief says initial coronavirus cases in Syria just ‘tip of the iceberg’


Lifestyle

It’s amazing what you become thankful for when you go down with suspected coronavirus and enter self-isolation, says Ella Walker.10 things self-isolation makes you really appreciate

Suddenly those Facebook groups are a godsend…Social media can be a true support in isolation – here’s how

If isolation means your locks are already out of control, it might be time to take matters into your own hands, says Prudence Wade.Everything you need to know about cutting your hair at home

It might feel unnatural to breathe deeply, but it can help to calm an overactive mind. Liz Connor reveals how to inhale and relax.3 breathing exercises to help with stress and anxiety

More From The Irish Examiner