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Home affairs correspondent Reevel Alderson
"The city is concerned about the effect on services"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 26 January, 2000, 08:27 GMT
Cash plea in city drugs battle

Heroin Heroin injecting is one of the main problems

One in 30 adults in Glasgow has a serious drug problem, according to a new report.

And the city council is calling for more cash to fund drug prevention and treatment programmes.

The council says that, based on figures from the health service and its own social work department, there are between 12,000 and 15,000 adults with a serious drug problem in Glasgow.

Mortuary There has been a record number of drugs deaths
This is almost twice the previous 1991 estimate of 8,500, leaving the social work department budget stretched to breaking point.

Social work director Ronnie O'Connor said more adults in Glasgow who have taken illicit drugs go on to develop serious problems than in other cities.

Predominantly this is due to the prevalence of heroin injecting in the city - last year there were a record 85 drugs deaths.

Mr O'Connor said: "This estimate of problem drug misusers is more than five times higher than the prevalence of problematic drug misuse in the UK where the average rate is six per thousand."

The effect on council services is stark, with more than 1,000 children directly affected by drug misuse receiving help from community projects.

National figures are falling

The number of children going into care in Glasgow was up 25% last year while the corresponding national figures are falling.

The drug care and prevention budget in the city is 15m, the equivalent of just 1,000 per addict.

The city council cannot increase its services to tackle the problem without extra money or affecting other services.
Charles Gordon
Social work services convener Councillor John Gray said: "Drug misuse is having a critical impact on our social work services and has resulted against national trends in a 25% increase in the number of children coming into care in the last year or so," he said.

"This report is the first step in a review of our services and, along with the health board and the drugs action team, the council is working to develop its services to tackle the problem."

Council leader Charles Gordon said: "This is surely a case for government action and we will be asking the Scottish Executive to put more resources into drug prevention and treatment rather than drug enforcement.

"The city council cannot increase its services to tackle the problem without extra money or affecting other services."

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See also:
20 Jan 00 |  Scotland
More cash for drugs battle
17 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Experts warn of rise in drugs death toll
27 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Campaigner urges new anti-drugs effort

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