According to Health Related Survey (HRS) data from 2008, 14% of Year 10 (14/15 year olds) admit to having taken drugs by the time they are 15, a slightly higher rate than the national average. 26% of Year 8s (12/13 year olds) and 49% of Year 10s survey reported they had drunk alcohol in the last seven days. Of the Year 10s who were drinking, at least 13% were apparently exceeding the safe drinking limit calculated for adults. It is difficult to estimate the prevalence of substance misuse amongst young people since no inclusive approximations of the entire young people population of Cambridgeshire exists at present. Estimates vary greatly and our local estimates, according to the Health Related Survey (HRS), are far lower than those proposed by national research.
National evidence suggests that the following groups are particularly vulnerable to substance misuse:
- Young homeless.
- Young offenders.
- Looked after children.
- Children transitioning from care to independent living.
- Truants and those excluded from education.
- Children of drug users.
- Young people who are sexually exploited or work in the sex industry.