A new report by the Children’s Society on behalf of Public Health England highlights the relationship between sexual exploitation and drug use.

Like their adult counterparts, young people in specialist drug treatment have a range of complex problems that extend beyond drug use. The latest treatment data from England reveal that 38% of young people (anyone under the age of 18) had at least 4 problems such as mental health, sexual exploitation or were affected by someone else’s drug use.

So, while the use of alcohol and drugs has been steadily falling among young people in general, more young people are presenting to treatment services with problems related to cannabis. A proportion of young people in treatment for cannabis accounted for 55% back in 2005/06, but this has since risen to 75% in 2015/16, and, when taking into account adjunctive drug use this number rises to 87%. This presents an interesting challenge as problematic cannabis use interventions are in an evidence free zone. With a lack of research as to what actually works, treatment providers are left in the less than ideal situation of having to fend for themselves.

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