Child cocaine addicts nearly double


Tuesday 29th December, 2009

NHS figures have revealed the number of children being treated for cocaine addiction has nearly doubled in four years.

In the last year, 745 under-18s who abused the drug have been helped by the National Treatment Agency, a figure that is up from 453 in 2005-06.

Among those treated, at least 15 were under-12 and 169 were aged between 14 and 16 years-old. Experts believe children are using cocaine as a ‘coping mechanism’ for their problems or copying family members who already take the Class A drug.

Nearly 25,000 under-18s received addiction treatment for illegal drugs and alcohol last year – 12,642 were treated for cannabis and 8,799 for alcohol, accounting for nine out of 10 young people receiving support. Three quarters of those received psychological therapies such as counselling for their treatment.

Recent figures showed that the number of people aged under-35 receiving treatment for cocaine addiction in the last four years increased by 75 per cent among men and 60 per cent among women. The average age to start using the drug was 21.

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