Suffolk's youngsters' abuse figures

MORE than 200 children in Suffolk are receiving specialist treatment to combat drug or alcohol problems, it has emerged today.

MORE than 200 children in Suffolk are receiving specialist treatment to combat drug or alcohol problems.

Many of the youngsters were suffering as a result of their parents' substance misuse, had dropped out of school or had got into difficulties through peer pressure.

The Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) said most were in their mid-teens and were receiving help after misusing alcohol or cannabis - but some had more serious addictions.

Simon Aalders, Suffolk DAAT co-ordinator, said youngsters are referred to the team for a variety of reasons.

He said: “There are a whole range of problems it doesn't necessarily mean they are all addicted to heroin. It may be their drinking or smoking cannabis is causing problems in their lives.”

Mr Aalders said the large number of youngsters receiving support did not necessarily mean alcohol or drug misuse was getting worse and that as services are getting better young people were contacting the agency themselves.

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The DAAT is aiming to increase the number of teenagers receiving support by 50 per cent in the year ahead and will target youngsters very early on in their problems.

n. Are you concerned by the figures? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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