307 under-18s treated for drug or alcohol abuse

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MORE than 300 youngsters were admitted to emergency wards in the Lothians to be treated after taking drugs or alcohol in 12 months, it was reported today.

In total, 307 intoxicated under-18s were taken to accident and emergency wards in the region last year.

The total accounted for around 10 per cent of the 3000 children who were treated in hospitals after abusing drugs or alcohol across Scotland.

In the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, 736 youngsters were treated in hospital while 623 were treated in Tayside hospitals after taking drink or drugs.

Some of the children treated had taken Class A drugs.

A spokesperson for Scottish Drugs Forum, an anti-drugs charity, said: “These figures are shocking. It’s a huge concern that so many young people are ending up in A&E through drug use.

“It highlights the challenge of getting help, support and advice to young people as early as possible.”

Lothians MSP and shadow minister for learning and skills Neil Findlay added: “We need a concerted effort to protect our children and young people from the evil of drugs and alcohol.”