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Drug use and mental health in a Secure Children’s Home

Richard Martin Pates (Clinical Support Services, Hillside Secure Children’s Home, Neath, UK)
Kristian Hooper (Clinical Support Services, Hillside Secure Children’s Home, Neath, UK)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Secure Children’s Homes are safe environments where many of the most troubled children in British society are resident. These children are from either a criminal background or referred for protection of themselves and others from harm. There is often a history of drug use and diagnoses of mental health problems before admission. The purpose of this paper is to examine one Secure Children’s Home to determine the level of drug use prior to admission compared to surveys of children not in this environment and to examine the veracity of the mental health diagnoses.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a retrospective examination of case notes for admissions from 2014 to 2015.

Findings

The study found much higher levels of drug use than in the general population at similar age and a wide diagnosis of mental health problems prior to admission.

Research limitations/implications

Levels of harm from traumatic childhood events need to be recognised by referrers as maybe leading to attachment disorders and not mental health problems. More research is needed into the outcomes form Secure Children’s Homes in the long term.

Practical implications

The children in these homes do have as anticipated much higher levels of drug use than in the general population and high levels of mental health diagnoses which are not always borne out during their admission to the children’s home.

Originality/value

This is an examination of a special population of young people indicating high levels of drug use and mental health problems.

Keywords

Citation

Pates, R.M. and Hooper, K. (2017), "Drug use and mental health in a Secure Children’s Home", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 71-82. https://doi.org/10.1108/ADD-09-2016-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited