Children as young as 15 are taking cannabis

Published: 13 Sep 2012 14:300 comments

A LEADING consultant psychiatrist in the Western Health and Social Care Trust says drug users as young as 15-years-old are taking cannabis in Fermanagh.

Dr. Scott Payne.

Dr. Scott Payne has told this newspaper that figures show more males (between the ages of 15 and 64) have taken the drug in the last year than in the same period in 2006/7.

The Trust reports that 68 per cent of patients seeking help for their addiction are aged under 18 years.

They, along with 62 per cent of clients aged 18-25 years; and 46 per cent of clients aged 26 years and over reported cannabis as their main problem drug. Sixteen per cent of clients aged 18-25 years and 11 per cent of clients aged 26 years and over reported mephedrone/methedrone as their main problem drug.

Statistics from the Northern Ireland Drug Misuse Database show that 301 patients have been treated for their addiction in the Western Trust area during 2010/11.

And a survey carried out by the Public Health Information and Research Branch states that in the last 12 months 55 per cent of people reported their main problem drug as being cannabis.

Smaller proportions of adults had taken other illegal drugs. Respondents reported using ecstasy (two per cent) and mephedrone and cocaine powder (each one per cent).

Less than one per cent of those surveyed had taken poppers (0.8 per cent) and solvents and methadone (each 0.3 per cent).

Less than one per cent had used anabolic steroids (0.4 per cent).

Over one tenth (11 per cent) of respondents had taken anti-depressants and nine per cent had taken sedatives and/or tranquillisers. A smaller proportion of respondents had taken other opiates (three per cent).

Dr. Payne said help is available for anyone with an addiction to drugs: "We would offer assessment in a non-confrontational way and then offer counselling and talking treatment. Addiction is often seen as a physical dependence, but the main problem is a physiological one."

Statistics from the Northern Ireland Drug Misuse Database for the Western Health and Social Care Trust area in 2010/11.

Number of clients: 301.

Number of clients reporting main drug to be:

Cannabis 166.

Mephedrone/Methedrone 46.

Other Opiates 22.

Ecstasy 12.

Benzodiazepines 12.

Mean age of clients: 27.

Number of clients ever injected: 10.

Number of clients treated before: 78.

Need help?

Email and telephone support for young people, parents and carers concerned about drugs. Helpline: 0800 776 600. E-mail: Website:

Jump to first paragraph.


comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Roundup section

17 Apr 2014 19:00 • Rodney Edwards

#fermanaghspake This Week is...

‘I’m not half well’

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 18:06 • Rodney Edwards

Would-be Unionist polictician admits Catholic Facebook question was 'badly worded'

A would-be politician seeking a seat in the new Fermanagh and Omagh Council for the Ulster Unionist Party has defended himself for a second time following comments he made on Facebook.


17 Apr 2014 17:01

Fermanagh's 'different breed' that sets the Orange Standard

Let me get the amateur sociology out of the way first: ‘Out-group homogeneity’. It describes a bias that any group of people are prone to have.


17 Apr 2014 16:30

Why are you 'punishing a good school'?

The proposed Development Proposal to close both Enniskillen Collegiate School and Portora Royal School and open a new school on a split site, will go before the members of the Western Education and Library Board on May 8 for approval.


17 Apr 2014 15:57

Meeting exposed WELB's 'weak process and weak argument' says Collegiate head

THE Collegiate Grammar School’s consultation meeting on its proposed amalgamation with Portora Royal exposed the Western Education Library Board’s (WELB) “weak process and weak argument”, according to principal, Elizabeth Armstrong.


17 Apr 2014 15:14

Collegiate parents walk out after rudeness of WELB official

PARENTS of Collegiate Grammar School have accused Western Education Library Board (WELB) officials of hiding their personal vested interest in a proposal that would see the school merge with Portora Royal next year.


17 Apr 2014 14:29 • Meadhbh Monahan

Angry homeowners duped by rogue driveway worker caled Roadstone

HOMEOWNERS in Enniskillen are “disgusted” with workmen who took hundreds of pounds for cleaning their driveways, but never finished the job.


17 Apr 2014 14:06

Enniskillen by-pass could start in four years says Minister

WORK on the long-awaited Southern by-pass of Enniskillen could start in four years’ time but only if the millions needed for the scheme can be found, Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has said.


17 Apr 2014 13:11

No referendum on fracking at Council elections

Fermanagh District Council is unlikely to hold a fracking referendum after legal advice has recommended against it.


17 Apr 2014 13:01

Woman who tried to give man love bite guilty of sexual assault

A 47-year-old woman has been convicted of sexually assaulting a young man after she allegedly “forced” herself on him, grabbing him by the bum and telling him she loved him.


17 Apr 2014 11:45

St. Patrick's Day crash led driver to court

A 42-year-old driver who failed to stop after crashing into a car on a bridge on St. Patrick’s Day was three times the legal alcohol limit.


17 Apr 2014 10:00 • Editorial Department

Inside today's paper

Clerics attend Queen’s banquet: Praise for their cross-community work

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 09:48

Sharpe names Premier 18 for Milk Cup

Fermanagh Premier Milk Cup manager Derek Sharpe has named his 18 man squad for this summer's competition.


17 Apr 2014 09:15

Men arrested in connection with security alert charged with theft

THE two men arrested in connection with a security alert in Fintona on Tuesday this week have been charged with Theft and Going Equipped for Theft


17 Apr 2014 09:00

Schoolgirl chef makes it to Fine Dine final

A local pupil has been named a finalist in this year's Fine Dine at Mine All-Ireland Schools Cookery Competion.


16 Apr 2014 22:30 • Editorial Department

In tomorrow's Impartial Reporter read:

How a woman has been convicted of sexually assaulting a man after touching him and trying to give him a love bite.

Social: Comments0 comments

16 Apr 2014 19:30

Arrest warrant for convicted shoplifter

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a 33-year-old convicted shoplifter.


16 Apr 2014 17:00

Driver convicted of possession of drug after cannabis was found in car

The 32-year-old driver of a car from which there was a strong smell of cannabis has admitted unlawfully having the Class B drug.


16 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Comment - Shona Morrison - Feeling blue over the lack of support for autism awareness

Our wee county of Fermanagh has a great deal going for it right now.

Social: Comments0 comments

16 Apr 2014 12:20

Police probe confrontation between cyclists and motorist

A man was reportedly assaulted during a confrontation between a motorist and a group of cyclists on the Sligo Road in Enniskillen.