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Strengthening substance misuse support for young people and families

Cryfhau cymorth i bobl ifanc a theuluoedd ar gyfer mynd i’r afael â chamddefnyddio sylweddau

The Welsh Government is currently consulting on how substance misuse treatment services for young people and families are provided in Wales.   

Over 500 children in Wales receive support for substance misuse, while more than 4,000 receive care and support due to their parents having substance misuse problems.

The Welsh Government wants to improve services for people up to 25, enabling better assessment of individuals’ needs and developing a model for a single service for people with multiple or complex needs.

There has been a rise in demand for support for substance misuse for children and young people in recent years. The Welsh Government is increasing its ring-fenced funding by £1m to £3.75m in 2022-23 and has committed to increase that to £6.25m by 2024-25 to help meet the demand.  

The Welsh Government is currently consulting on a Substance Misuse Treatment Framework for Children and Young People. The framework is designed to assist health, social care and criminal justice providers to deliver high quality prevention and treatment services for those at risk of or who are experiencing substance misuse issues. 

The Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Well-being, Lynne Neagle, visited a centre which provides support for young people and families affected by substance misuse issues in Cardiff yesterday.

Lynne Neagle said:

“Substance misuse can affect people of all ages and from any background. Our substance misuse services provide essential support for individuals and families across Wales.

“We are committed to ensuring our services focus on early intervention and prevention, so that longer-term harms are prevented before they occur. The Substance Misuse Treatment Framework provides important guidance to help providers successfully support the people they work with.

“We want to hear from as many people as possible on our consultation, especially people working in substance misuse support and prevention, or people affected by substance misuse themselves, so we can ultimately improve outcomes and reduce harm for children and young people.”

Notes to editors

The Substance Misuse Framework is a document that summarises evidence and best practice to guide those supporting children and young people with substance misuse issues. The consultation closes on 23 December 2022.

In 2021-22, 1,425 young people under 20 were referred to substance misuse services in Wales. 283 were under the age of 15.

Harms associated with substance use include, and are not limited to, those impacting on physical health including acute toxicity, infection and premature deaths from poisoning, suicides, accidents or violence and assault; psychological harms, both acute and chronic, particularly amongst those with multiple and complex needs including mental health disorders; and contact with the criminal justice system.