A picture of drug and alcohol issues in the Borders is given in the region’s Alcohol and Drug Partnership’s annual report, presented to the council’s education committee this week.
The number of drug users in the region shows very little change but it seems that more women are now using drugs and the rate of drug related hospital admissions in the Borders has increased faster than the Scottish average over the past six years.
The number of drug users in the Borders funding their drug habit through crime is also increasing and the percentage of offences committed in the region where the offender was under the influence of drugs is now higher than the national average.
Conviction rates for offenders given a Drug Treatment and Testing Order in the Borders is also higher than the Scottish average.
Alcohol related hospital admissions and mortality rates remain steady at below the Scottish average, and alcohol related offences recorded by the police show rates for serious assault, common assault and vandalism in the Borders are also below the Scottish average.
The percentage of adults exceeding weekly/daily drinking limits and individuals drinking above twice daily guidance is similar to the Scottish average.
As far as the region’s teenagers are concerned, there are signs that the message about the problems alcohol and drug use can bring is starting to get through. Drug use among school pupils has gone down and the number of 15 year old pupils drinking ever week has also dropped below the Scottish average.