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Children and Young People

Pathways to Problems; Hazardous use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs by young people in the UK and its implications for policy
ACMD (September 2006)

In the UK today, a large proportion of young people use tobacco, alcohol and other drugs in the pursuit of pleasure, solace, acceptance or escape. Such drugs all act on the same areas of the brain, altering its normal function and hence the user’s experience. The precise nature of the experienceand other consequences will reflect the interaction of the particular drug with the individual’s physiology, psychology and current circumstances. To a greater or lesser extent, these drugs are capable of altering behaviour, producing dependence and causing awide range of direct and indirect harms to health and well-being.

Understanding problematic drug use among vulnerable young people accessing drug services: a multivariate approach using statistical modelling techniques
Home Office (April 2004)

This is a great report; don't get put off by the title. It uses a relatively small sample group in Stoke and Newcastle on Tyne; it uses statistical techniques to look at key factors that contribute to problematic substance use and finds that, amongst other factors, parental discipline is an important factor.This is an essential read for all who work with younger drug users or who are developing preventions strategies.

Young people, cannabis and family life
Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (April 2004)

This briefing reports on a study of the role of cannabis in young people's lives during their early teenage years; its an OK report and there is probably a great deal more in the full document. A useful read for those who work with young people and want to develop their understanding of the social context of cannabis use.

First Steps in Identifying Young Peoples Substance Related Need
Home Office (February 2003)

While this document provides a useful starting point (as the title suggests) it stumbles at points in to making trite observations. The best examples are the case studies, which feature laughably straightforward scenarios and remarkably compliant clients. While this is frustrating on the one hand, there is a risk that funders and politicians will believe this is the nature of the work. At other points the guidance steers around issues of confidentiality, which again is frustrating. But an essential read nonetheless.

Services for young people with problematic substance misuse: a guide to principles and practice
Scottish Effective Interventions Unit (January 2003)

The Guide aims to support Drug Action Teams as they work towards the national standard ‘to ensure that drug misusers aged under 16 have access to drug treatment and care services which are in line with national guidance, by 2004.

Drug Treatment Services for Young People - A research review
Scottish Effective Interventions Unit (June 2002)

Summary of study that took place in 2001 looking at specialist services for young drug users in Scotland.

Substance Misuse by Young Offenders - the Impact and Normalisation of drug use in the early years of the 21st Century
Home Office (February 2002)

Report by Richard Hammersley and colleagues; it analyses almost 300 interviews with young offenders.

One problem among many: drug use among care leavers in transition to independent living
Home Office (February 2003)

Report by Ward, Henderson and Pearson on drug use amongst care leavers.

Evaluation of various data sources on drug use, smoking and drinking by children of secondary school age
ONS (November 2001)

Interesting paper, mainly for researchers, on how different studies have been conducted and the impact that this is likely to have had on their findings.

At the margins: drug use by vulnerable young people in the 1998/99 youth lifestyle survey
Home Office (November 2002)

Really useful and relevant paper which looks at the prevalence of substance use amongst vulnerable groups such as runaways, homeless, truants and offenders. No anwers but some astounding evidence.

The Road to Ruin - Sequences of Initiation into drug use and offending by young people in Britain
Home Office (December 2002)

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