06 November 2012

If you had a substance abuse problem, would you know where to go for help? Which services are the most effective in preventing and treating substance misuse? These are among the questions being asked as part of a consultation looking at drug and alcohol support services for young people in Northamptonshire.

The Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) based at Northamptonshire County Council is carrying out the consultation to better understand how services can successfully prevent and reduce drug and alcohol use by young people in the county.

Substance abuse among young people has been a problem in the UK for many years and continues to be so, despite the best efforts of policy-makers, health professionals, educators and local authorities.

Although substance misuse is dangerous for all ages, it has particularly damaging effects on young people that can last well in later life. Research in Northamptonshire shows that substance abuse in young people is likely to affect their achievement at school, their mental and physical health and increase the chance of involvement in criminal behaviour.

The results of the consultation will be used to help the DAAT and other organisations in the county make decisions on how to address the needs of young people who use substances.

County council cabinet member for customer and community services Councillor Heather Smith said: “We want to hear from as many people to help us make decisions about the services that are needed in the future to support young people whose lives are affected by drug and alcohol misuse".

“We especially want to get feedback from young people and their families, whether or not they have ever come into contact with these services, as their comments will be extremely useful in helping us to make sure the services we commission in the future effectively address their needs".

To take part people can visit on the consultation register and fill in an online questionnaire.