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Thousands of children treated for addiction

7 July 2009

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More than 11,000 children under the age of 16 were treated for drug and alcohol addiction in 2007-08, according to the Tory Party.

As part of a Parliamentary answer, the Conservatives produced statistics that showed 11,294 under-16s were treated for drug and alcohol dependency. Of this figure, 6,075 children were treated for cannabis “addiction”, with 102 of those aged under 12.

Alcohol dependency was a problem for a further 4,005, including 57 under 12, while 93 were treated for addiction to heroin and other opiates, with 10 of those children aged 11 or under.

Shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley, said the government’s decision to roll out 24-hour drinking had not helped the situation, and called for a robust strategy of ring-fenced budgets and proper accountability in order to improve public health.

He also said more needed to be done to address the wider causes of social breakdown, including strengthening families, reforming the welfare system and providing more good school places.

Copyright © Press Association 2009