Local authorities should work with nightclubs, gyms and festivals to prevent the misuse of drugs, new national guidelines recommend.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has urged councils to work closely with appropriate venues to tackle drug use by targeting those most at risk of using with social media campaigns, leaflets and posters.
NICE, which provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care, also recommended information be made available at sexual health services and supported accommodation for homeless people.
Between 2015 and 2016, around one in 12 adults took an illicit drug, equating to 2.7 million people. For children and young people aged 11-15, statistics from 2014 show that 10% of school children had taken drugs.
Guidelines produced by NICE and Public Health England (PHE) also suggest offering skills training to children and young people, and their families, who are vulnerable to drug misuse.
‘We want to help prevent people at risk of drug misuse from taking drugs,’ said Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at NICE.
‘We also want to prevent people who already use drugs from using them regularly and to excess.’
‘Local authorities, and public health teams in local government, will play an important role when helping to implement our recommendations on drug misuse prevention,’ she continued.
‘We hope to see them bridging the gap and working together with venue owners, local health services and social care to help prevent drug misuse in people, including children and young people, who are at risk.’