LATEST figures hospital admissions due to substance misuse among 15 to 24-year-olds in Oldham have risen by 86 per cent over 10 years.

A decade ago, 43 youngsters in the town were hospitalised, but figures released by Public Health England up to 2019 put the number at 80.

The statistics also say the NHS hospitals across the North West had to deal with almost 3,000 admissions episodes of children and young adults between 2016 and 2018 - hundreds more than a decade ago.

Analysis of the statistics by drug addiction treatment experts UKAT reveals that the number of hospital admissions across the North West has risen in 10 years from 2,551 in 2008/09-10/11 to 2,880 in 2016/17-18/19, a 15 per cent hike.

Public Health England state that the figures are representative of hospital admissions where the primary diagnosis could be mental and behavioural disorders due to either opioids (like heroin), cannabinoids (like THC), sedatives (like alcohol and xanax), cocaine, hallucinogens (like LSD and ketamine) and psychoactive substances like spice.

UKAT’s detailed analysis shows that the hospital admission episodes for substance misuse in 2016/17-18/19 compared to 2008/09-10/11 across all areas in the North West.

Some areas have seen only marginal rises or even reductions in hospital admission episodes for substance misuse amongst 15-24 year olds, including Halton (from 78 to 60), Warrington (from 113 to 115), Blackburn with Darwen (from 65 to 65), Cheshire West & Chester (from 116 to 85), Bolton (from 110 to 95), Bury (from 54 to 35), Rochdale (from 79 to 75), Tameside (from 88 to 80), Wirral (from 180 to 180) and Cumbria (from 196 to 160) over the same time period.

Nuno Albuquerque, group treatment lead at addiction firm UKAT: “These figures are extremely concerning, especially because they won’t paint the whole picture.

"There’ll be countless more children and young adults living across the North West misusing drugs without the need for hospitalisation; this report shows the worst outcomes of when kids ‘experiment’ with drugs.

“Drug misuse at such an early age of life can result in real long-term physical and social problems; not only are they negatively altering the way their brain grows and develops, but they could miss out on education, develop limited and stinted human relationships, become withdrawn from society and turn to crime to fund their habit.

“It’s imperative that a significant proportion of the annual Public Health Grant is allocated next month by Councils across the North West to educating and engaging with children in schools to prevent future generations from misusing drugs.

“Given the current Coronavirus crisis, society should be doing everything it can to ease the pressure on the NHS at this incredibly difficult time, and that means investing in preventative steps to reduce the number of kids needing hospitalising because of drugs in the future.”

For help, advice and local drug support services across the North West, visit


UK Addiction Treatment Group Limited, Floor 1 Imperial Place, Maxwell Road, Borehamwood, Borehamwood, WD6 1JN, United Kingdom