Interesting drug and alcohol facts August 2016

Injecting drug use, school exclusions and substance misuse budgets

This is the latest post in a monthly series reproducing Andrew Brown’s monthly slideshare of interesting new facts about alcohol and other drugs which he has unearthed from a wide range of reports.

Andrew works for MEAM/Making Every Adult Matter, the coalition of three national charities (Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind) who champion the cause of people experiencing multiple needs and who have been kind enough to allow Andrew’s monthly slideshares to be re-published here.

This month’s slides focus on injecting drug use and cover school exclusions for drugs and alcohol, changes in local government budgeting and which countries are most and least likely to smoke cannabis with tobacco.

Most worryingly, they show a headline drop in this year’s adult drug treatment budget of 27% compared to last. Andrew has pointed out that the drop may not be as large as it appears because the new prevention code probably means there is a clearer distinction between activity previously included in treatment figures. However, it remains the case that that there will be some big drops in treatment funding at local level as the public health grant becomes smaller.

Some of the interesting facts I learnt were:

  • The proportion of injecting drug users who are under 25 has dropped from almost 16% ten years ago to 4.3% last year (slide 3);
  • Permanent school exclusions relating to drugs or alcohol have risen sharply over the last five years from 330 to 480 (slide 9);
  • The number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome has fallen each year for the past three years (slide 12); and
  • The English adult drug misuse treatment budget fell from £550 million last year (2015/16) to £408m this year (slide 13).

You can follow Andrew on Twitter @andrewbrown365
If you’re looking for work in the alcohol and drugs field, check out my new jobs board with plenty of current substance misuse vacancies.

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