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Highland Life / News / Highland Council News / Substance abuse training aims to save Caithness children's lives

Substance abuse training aims to save Caithness children's lives

Issued: 18 Jun 2010

People who work with children and young people in Caithness have recently been trained to identify and understand the signs of solvent abuse.

Training was organised and sponsored by The Highland Council's Youth Action Team and Caithness Drug & Alcohol Forum and delivered by the charity Re-Solv that specialises in volatile substance abuse training.

The courses were run on 16 June in Thurso and 17 June in Wick are attracted 40 delegates from the NHS Highland, Highland Council, Northern Constabulary, and the voluntary sector.

Course co-ordinator Robert More, Team Manager with Highland Council's Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross Youth Action Team said: "We are taking a proactive approach to enhance local workers knowledge to help minimise risk to young people. The skills learned will help those who work with young people of 12 to 18 years of age who may be involved in offending behaviour, substance or alcohol misuse."

Robert is also Treasurer of the Caithness Drug & Alcohol Forum, he added: "CDAF is the multi-partnership forum which includes health, social work, police, education, the voluntary and private sector. Through the partnership we are committed to promoting positive change by addressing all aspects of drug and alcohol use in the Highlands."

Marina Clayton, Re-Solv Development Manager for Scotland said: "Many people think that solvent abuse is a problem of the past. It is not. The last Department of Health survey indicated that 1 in 8 young people will try solvents at least once. That one time can and does kill."

She added: "Some think that solvent abuse, if it happens at all, is a problem only in areas of deprivation. It is not. Children of teachers, doctors and police officers have all died. Others consider solvent abuse to be only mildly dangerous. It is not. It is arguably the most immediately dangerous form of substance abuse. Sudden Sniffing Death is unique to solvent abuse. Around 1 death per week occurs in the UK. The youngest person to die was a 7 year old child in Scotland.

"Around 2000 legitimate products can be abused with the average home containing around 30 such products. Re-Solv commends the local partners in Caithness for taking action to ensure this often overlooked issue is addressed."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme