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Rise in teenagers seeking help for drug and alcohol problems

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Teenagers seeking help for drug and alcohol problems has risen, although experts believe that the figure could be linked to improved service access.

A total of 23,905 teenagers in England were seeking help for drug and alcohol related problems in 2007/08, compared with 17,001 two years before, said the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse.

Rosanna O’Connor, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse’s director of delivery, said: "It doesn't mean the country is in the grip of adolescent binge-drinking or that they are living in a haze of drugs - it means we are getting to grips with a specific problem."

Over the past five years the Government has invested more money, meaning there is now an increase in services.

A report by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse revealed that four out of five of all the young people seeking help were being treated for cannabis and alcohol problems in 2007/08.

The percentage using the substance misuse services for heroin/opiates, cocaine and crack as a main drug of misuse was much lower, at less than 7%.

Alcohol was the only drug which saw a percentage rise and in two years enquiries went from 30% to 36%.

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