Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse
Stephen Hesford (PPS (Vera Baird QC, Solicitor General), Law Officers' Department; Wirral West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision the alcohol harm reduction strategy contains for the treatment of under-18 year olds; and what associated initiatives are located in Wirral West constituency.
Kevin Brennan (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Children, Schools and Families; Cardiff West, Labour)
I have been asked to reply.
'Safe. Sensible. Social'. The updated alcohol harm reduction strategy for England identifies under-18s as a priority group for Government action on alcohol and sets out the reduction of drinking by young people as a Government objective. Actions specifically aimed at addressing young people's alcohol misuse include producing guidance for young people and their parents about what is and what is not safe; a social marketing campaign to challenge attitudes around drinking; and tackling underage sales.
£25 million has been allocated in this financial year for treatment for under-18s from the adult pooled treatment budget for substance misuse. Alcohol is the biggest presenting problem for those under-18s who access treatment. The adult pooled treatment budget can also be accessed if local strategic partnerships identify greater need and adult targets have been met.
On the basis of information supplied by the Wirral dug and alcohol action team, (DAAT), there are a number of initiatives in Wirral West that aim to reduce the harms associated with substance misuse, including alcohol young people, through the Young People's Substance Misuse Service. They are:
School drug advisers: support all schools in Wirral in developing policies for drug education and managing drug-related incidents;
School nurses/looked after nurses: provide screening and basic information to young people;
Connexions: provides a universal support service designed for and with young people;
Churches Action on Substance Misuse (third sector);
Forum Housing (third sector): provides support to young people living in supported accommodation;
Sports and recreation (regeneration): offers diversionary activity to young people at risk of or involved in substance misuse;
Response: works with organisations, which provide services to young people at risk of or involved in alcohol misuse;
Youth offending services;
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS): responds to the needs of young people with complex substance misuse problems.