16 October 2013

Hospital visits because of alcohol fall in Brighton & Hove as drug treatment successes rise

New figures show that fewer people are ending up in hospital because of alcohol, more drug users are being treated and crimes against young people have fallen for the third year in a row.

These welcome improvements were revealed at the Community Safety Forum on 7 October 2013.

Hospital admissions because of alcohol are down 9% in 2012/13 compared to the previous year and this downward trend has continued into the first three months of this year.

Following on from the Big Alcohol Debate, the Brighton and Hove Alcohol Programme Board, with input from health, the council, student reps, licensees and retailers alike, has been overseeing a range of initiatives to reduce the negative impact of alcohol on the city.

The Brighton & Hove Alcohol Programme Board oversees joint commissioning and partnership activities to minimize harm for the improvement of health and wellbeing in Brighton & Hove.

Four specific areas are covered and these are:
•    the drinking culture
•    the availability of alcohol
•    the night time economy
•    Early identification, treatment and aftercare.

Other work involves early treatment and being able to recognise key issues, as well as working to ensure links are placed between Alcoholics Anonymous and other services we provide to create the best possible support.

Brighton & Hove City Council Leader Cllr Jason Kitcat, chair of the Forum, said:
“The city is making progress on important issues such as reducing the numbers of people going to hospital due to alcohol, more drug users leaving treatment successfully and fewer young people entering the justice system. These are issues that have a huge impact on people’s lives and help improve city life in general.
“But we’re not complacent and we still have a lot of work to do and are determined to make the city a better place for everyone.”

The city’s drug treatment services are continuing to show good results and turn lives around. In 2012/13 230 out of the 419 people (55%) who left drug treatment did so in a planned way, an improvement on the 50% who did so in 2011/12.  90% of those people leaving treatment in a planned way did not represent to treatment services within 6 months.

A working group is meeting regularly to take forward 19 recommendations of the Independent Drugs Commission report to deal with drug related problems in Brighton & Hove. The Commission will review progress made in April 2014.

Recorded crimes against young people aged under 18 have fallen in the last two years and are continuing to do so in the first three months of this year.

The number of young people ages 10-17 entering the criminal justice system continues to fall, 69 young people in 2013/13 compared to 95 young people in 2011/12 and this figure is decreasing. The drop in numbers is partly due to the use of alternative approaches to youth justice, replacing reprimands and final warnings so that young people are routed away from the justice system.
Joint work between the police and youth crime prevention team assists with finding alternative ways to support young people and divert them from offending behaviour.  This includes the use of restorative justice so that young people are helped to understand the impact of their behaviour and make amends.

An approach called the Youth Early Help pathway was launched in September and this provides a process for ensuring that young people are brought to the attention of youth services, including crime prevention, at an early stage.  This offers an opportunity for negative factors which could lead to future offending behaviour to be addressed at an early stage.


For the full report see hyperlink to report on website: http://bit.ly/16fvXp0

For more information contact the Brighton & Hove media team on 01273 291 555