The significant consequences of alcohol and substance misuse are widely recognised and include increased risk of crime, violence, domestic breakdown, social problems and a considerable number of negative health outcomes. It can affect young people in terms of attendance and attainment at school and college, as well as causing harm to their health and wellbeing.
According to the Local Alcohol Profiles for England, 35.2% of Warwickshire adults, equating to over 153,000 people, are estimated to be drinking at increasing and higher risk drinking levels. It is difficult to obtain local estimates of the number of people who use drugs in Warwickshire, however nationally, one in 11 adults aged 16 to 59 had taken an illicit drug in the last year, equating to over 28,000 people in Warwickshire.
The rate of alcohol related admissions in 2013/14 is 303 people per 100,000 in Warwickshire, equating to roughly 1,650 people. This compares favourably when comparing to the equivalent national figures (374 per 100,000 people). Rates of alcohol hospital admissions are higher among men than women (395 per 100,000 and 216 per 100,000 respectively in 2013/14). Rates of alcohol related hospital admissions vary across the county, with Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough receiving the highest number of alcohol related admissions in 2013/14 at 2,800 admissions. Admissions across the whole of Warwickshire and for each District/Borough have increased over time when compared with the previous year.
In Warwickshire, the rate of alcohol related admissions between 2011/12 and 2013/14 for young people under 18 years was 42.6 per 100,000 people. This was higher when compared nationally to England, which had a rate of 40.1 alcohol related admissions during the same time period. However, in Warwickshire, we have experienced a fall in the rate between 2006/07 and 2008/09.
Between 2011/12 and 2013/14, there were approximately 150 hospital admissions among 15-24 year olds due to substance misuse. This equates to a directly standardised rate of 82.4 per 100,000 15-24 year olds, which is statistically similar to the equivalent England figure, and represents a slight increase in recent years.
Warwickshire has two main local services which provide support for individuals affected by drug and alcohol misuse:
• Compass, Warwickshire – The Compass, Warwickshire service provides targeted and specialist interventions for young people aged up to 18 years who are affected by their own, or another person’s substance misuse.
• The Recovery Partnership – The Recovery Partnership is an integrated and recovery focused treatment service for residents 18 years and over across Warwickshire with a drug or alcohol problem.
During 2014/15 Compass, Warwickshire had a total of 132 new referrals. When looking at Tier 3 treatment, at a District/Borough level Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough saw the highest proportion of clients (30%) during 2014/15, whilst North Warwickshire had the lowest level of clients (9.1%). The gender breakdown shows 56% of clients were male and 44% were female. The figure below suggests that cannabis is the leading drug that young people are receiving treatment for across Warwickshire in 2014/15, followed by alcohol which corresponds nationally when comparing this to England between 2005/6 and 2013/14.
Referrals to Compass will be accepted from any source/agency providing that they young person has consented to the referral being made. The three most significant sources of referrals across Warwickshire for 2014/15 Tier 3 clients were education services (56%), family and friends (15%) and child and family services (13%). While education services totalled the highest levels of referrals, nearly one in three (31%) Tier 3 clients received an exclusion from school/college.
During 2014/15, the Recovery Partnership had a total of 2,631 clients receiving treatment in Warwickshire. At a District/Borough level, Warwick District had the highest proportion of clients receiving treatment (30%) whilst North Warwickshire had the lowest numbers of clients (7%). In comparison to the previous 12 month period 2013/14, the Recovery Partnership had a total of 2,375 clients receiving treatment in Warwickshire, therefore the number of clients increased by 10.8% in 2014/15. The following graph displays the number of referrals that the Recovery Partnership received in 2014/15, broken down by CCG area.
South Warwickshire CCG had the highest number of referrals (1,204 clients) and was considerably higher than the other two CCG areas, North Warwickshire (907 clients) and Coventry & Rugby (544 clients).
The current focus within the drug and alcohol treatment system is on supporting recovery and enabling reintegration in order to meet the ambitions of service users and their families. This requires joint working between treatment providers, support networks and other services.