The TellUs survey of pupils is used to construct a national indicator to measure substance abuse. The figures represent the percentage of respondents to the survey reporting either frequent misuse of drugs/volatile substances or alcohol, or both. Two years’ of data is available.
Figure 1: Percentage of Pupils Reporting Frequent Misuse – Core Cities
Figure 2: Percentage of Pupils Reporting Frequent Misuse – Statistical Neighbours
The survey suggests that the number of children engaging in frequent substance misuse has increased substantially over the two years in Bristol.
During September to November 2009 Safer Bristol conducted a young people’s needs assessment and compared data from 2007/2008 and 2008/2009, using data from 3 young people’s specialist treatment services in Bristol – The Young People’s Drug Treatment Service (YPDTS), The Youth Offending Team (YOT) and the Drugs & Young People Project (D&YPP).
The needs assessment found that the total number of assessments made in the specialist drug treatment services dropped from 313 to 292 over the two periods. The YPDTS witnessed a 33% increase in assessments, the YOT and the D&YPP decreases of 17% and 16% respectively.
The needs assessment also found that young people are overwhelmingly likely to present to services for treatment for either cannabis or alcohol. The proportion of young people presenting with these 2 drugs of choice is 92% of the overall total of young people in treatment (98 for alcohol and 159 for cannabis). The use of opiates and crack cocaine is declining and research is suggesting that alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy are the new problem substances of choice for young people and emerging young adult drug users in the UK
There is more on young peoples drug and alcohol use in the Stay Safe chapter.