Drink and drug abuse treatment for thousands of teens in Scottish hospitals

Thousands of Scottish teenagers have been treated for drink or drug related abuse, new figures have revealed.

Figures obtained by STV News found that more than 4,000 teens required care or were referred to substance abuse services during the past four years.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde reported the highest number of cases with 713. The NHS Lothian area had the second highest total with 607 cases.

‘Drug problem’

There were 602 teenagers admitted to A&E departments for drink and drug abuse in the Forth Valley area over a four year period. The figure increased from 110 in 2012 to 176 in 2016.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde also reported 297 cases of teenagers who had been referred to mental health services relating to alcohol or drug addiction between 2014 and 2016.

Last year, two 17-year-olds died as a result of taking drugs at a music festival in Perthshire. A separate incident in 2014 involved another 17-year-old who died after taking an ecstasy-like drug at a nightclub in Glasgow.

Following this incident, Dr Neil McKeganey, Director of the Centre for Drugs Misuse Research, said it is “heart-breaking” that young people with every potential are ending up as “corpses on a mortuary slab”, but said that is “the reality of the drug problem”.

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