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Cannabis Most Abused Teenage UK Substance 2013

Cannabis Most Abused Teenage UK Substance 2013

Public Health England has just published the results of its’ 2013-2014 “Young people’s statistics from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) and some of the results are enlightening to say the least.

Executive Summary

  • 19,126 young people (under 18 years) accessed specialist substance misuse services. This figure is actually down 7.6% from 2011-2012.
  • The most common routes into specialist substance misuse services were from youth offending teams (27%) and mainstream education (19%).
  • The majority of young people accessing specialist services did so for problems with cannabis (71%) or alcohol (20%) as their primary substance.
  • 82% of young people accessing specialist services stated they were living at home with parents or other relatives.
  • of the 19,126 young people in treatment, 66% were male and 53% were aged 16 or over.

Teenage Cannabis Use

Although teenage cannabis use has been dropping for several years in the general population, treatment for cannabis abuse has seen a steady rise since 2005. This contrasts to alcohol and opiate use and treatment which are both falling across all ages, especially younger people. So what makes cannabis use different and why are more young people in treatment for cannabis addiction?

Cannabis and alcohol are considered gateway drugs. Cannabis differs from alcohol because because there is no such thing as a standardized unit of thc that one can “safely” consume. Varieties of cannabis are becoming stronger and, in the UK, users also combine cannabis with an even more addictive substance – tobacco. Could this perfect storm of addiction be the cause of the worrying trend in treatment admissions for young people?

At Gladstones Clinic, our treatment model uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, individual counseling and group therapy work to address the root cause of addiction. Our private, residential Cannabis Rehab Programme has proven to be incredibly successful, especially with younger people. If you or a family member are suffering from a compulsive addiction to smoking cannabis and you would like to discuss treatment options, feel free to give us a call.


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