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Evidence of what works

Background papers: Lifestyle and wider determinants :: Substance misuse in children and young people [Update in progress] :: Evidence of what works

National Guidance:

Every Child Matters: Change for Children Young People and Drugs Young People's Specialist Substance Misuse Treatment: Commissioning Guidance Young People's Specialist Substance Misuse Treatment: Exploring the Evidence Young people's substance misuse treatment services – essential elements Assessing Young People for Substance Misuse. Hidden Harm Report Advisory Council Misuse of Drugs 2003 Drug Use Among Vulnerable Young People: developing a local picture Crime and Drugs Analysis and Research Home Office 2007 Healthy Child Programme

Summary of evidence base:

There must be targeted interventions within generic children and young people's services for those at risk around substances (particularly for those most at risk, such as children of problem drug users, persistent truants and school excludees, looked after children, young offenders, and homeless young people). These interventions should include:
• early assessment around substance misuse issues;
• care management and appointment of a lead professional for all children and young people who need support and interventions around use;
• integrated information systems to help agencies work together to track interventions with individual children and young people;
• clear referral routes to specialist provision when needed. (ECM: Young People and Drugs) Service and workforce development is a key priority: all people working with young people have a key role to play in addressing substance misuse among children and young people. Substance misuse training should be available in every area and basis drugs awareness training should be incorporated into core professional training across the workplace (ECM: Young People and Drugs).

Children and adult services must adopt a Think Family approach: by taking a whole family approach and by working closely together, drug and alcohol services, dedicated young carer services and children, parenting and family services can meet the needs of parents whose substance misuse is adversely affecting the whole family. (Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), Department of Health (DH) and National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA): Joint Guidance on Development of Local Protocols between Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services and Local Safeguarding and Family Services). Specialist services must take a care planning approach to treatment and tailor effective and individualised packages of care to the young person's specific needs. Specialist treatment provision must be closely integrated with wider children and young people's provision.