Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Hundreds of children in A&E because of drink and drug misuse

Hundreds of children have been hospitalised in Tayside and Fife over the last two years for drug and alcohol misuse.
Hundreds of children have been hospitalised in Tayside and Fife over the last two years for drug and alcohol misuse.

Toddlers are among the hundreds of children who have needed emergency treatment in Tayside and Fife after being harmed by drinks and drugs, shock new figures reveal.

Nearly 600 children under the age of 18 were admitted to the area’s hospitals for injuries and illnesses relating to substance misuse between 2014/15 and 2015/16.

Many of those incidents involved older children overdosing on alcohol or drugs – including using substances to self-harm – as well as those who accidentally poisoned themselves.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats, which compiled the figures using freedom of information laws, said the 3,336 children who end up in hospital for substance misuse across the country is a damning indictment of the SNP Government’s failure to tackle Scotland’s drug and alcohol problems.

Mike Rumbles, the Lib Dem’s North East MSP, said while there is no clear cut answer, the hundreds of drug and alcohol-related hospital visits in Tayside and Fife are avoidable.

“Cutting resources to drug and alcohol services won’t help,” he said.

“If both families and children understood the need to keep prescription medicines and other drugs safe, and what the consequences of drinking and drug use are, then nearly 600 children could have avoided needing to go to hospital.”

In Tayside, 393 children ended up in A&E because of alcohol over the two-year period, while 90 were drug-related. Fife saw 84 hospitalised for alcohol and 28 admitted for narcotics.

Up to 32 of those needing A&E treatment in Tayside and Fife were aged four or under, although NHS Tayside said the vast majority of these refer to injuries caused by drug and alcohol use by third parties.

An NHS Tayside spokeswoman said there are a “range of measures” in place to support under 18s attending A&E for drug and alcohol misuse, including health visitor referrals and directing them to local services including The Corner, Key 2 Change, and Young Addaction Dundee.

Aileen Campbell, public health minister, said the Scottish Government has committed to keeping alcohol and drug partnership budgets at 2015/16 levels.

“These figures show the number of children admitted for drugs and alcohol fell by 13% over this period. Drug taking among young people is the lowest in a decade,” she said.

“The Scottish Government has an ambitious programme for substance misuse education to ensure that all young people in Scotland have credible and accessible information and advice on drugs to help them make the right choices.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Scottish politics team

More from The Courier