New figures published today by the Greater London Alcohol and Drug Alliance (GLADA) show fewer young Londoners are using drugs, particularly cocaine. The report also reveals that while both drug use and alcohol consumption by young people is lower in London than the rest of the UK, the number of 11 – 18 years admitted to hospital for alcohol related illnesses has increased.
Clearly the fall in drug use is good news but young Londoners still drink far too much for their own good. I’m off to chair the Health and Public Services Committee this morning to look further into this very issue.
Key facts from the report show:
– The proportion of young Londoners between 16 and 24 who reported using any drug in the last year decreased significantly between 2005/06 and 2007/08 – from 20.3 to 17.8 per cent.
– Proportion of young Londoners who reported using cocaine powder is down from 7.1 per cent in 2005/06 to 4.7 in 2007/08
– In London, alcohol-related hospital admissions for 11-18 year olds have increased from 1,171 in 2002/03 to 1,769 in 2006/07. This is a 51 per cent increase over this five-year period. Across England as a whole there was a 39 per cent increase over this same period.
– The estimated numbers of problem drug users (those who use cocaine / drug use has taken over their lives) in this age group dropped by approximately 2,300, from 14,068 in 2004/05 to 11,750 in 2005/06.