Highest number of children in rehab

Alcohol and drug abuse referrals have increased ten-fold amongs children
Alcohol and drug abuse referrals have increased ten-fold amongs children

Shock figures reveal the extent of child alcohol abuse in the Southern Trust area, which includes the Dungannon District.

A total of 164 children are currently in rehab for an alcohol addiction in the loca area, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.

The figure is the largest for any trust area in the North, more than twice as high as the next worst affected trust, Belfast, which has 75 alcohol addicts under the age of 18 in treatment.

For boys aged under 18, the trust also had the highest number of emergency admissions due to alcohol abuse in the North.

Worryingly, the number of children recorded with drug or alcohol addictions in the local area has increased more than ten-fold over the past four years, increasing sharply from 21 in 2010 to 232 in 2014.

The figures were revealed in the Department of Health’s latest Census of Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services in Northern Ireland.

A Trust spokesperson said: “Young people with drug or alcohol problems should firstly seek help from an adult or go to their GP who will signpost them to support services in the trust and community and

voluntary organisations delivering advice and help.

“Referral to Trust Services is usually by a GP and, dependant on the urgency of the request, a person is seen at a clinic as soon as possible.

Breakthru has volunteers, counsellors, community and youth workers who deliver servicesto children and young people who are affected directly or indirectly by drugs or alcohol misuse. Breakthru also provide school-based programmes in the local area where they proactively educated children on drug and alcohol misuse. Breakthru can becontacted at 18 Killymeal Road, Dungannon, or telephone 028 8775 3228.