Drugs & Alcohol misuse in young people

Ending up in the ED as a result of alcohol and or substance use is NOT normal behaviour

  • Children who use alcohol or other substances are hugely vulnerable to sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse.
  • The use of alcohol or drugs can be encouraged as part of the grooming process, or as a means of coping with a difficult situation for the young person.
  • It is also likely that friends and close acquaintances of the young person are equally vulnerable.

Therefore ALL children (<18yrs) presenting with alcohol or substance misuse, must be asked for consent (or someone with parental responsibility for them) to be referred to either Branching-Out (Calderdale) or The Base (Kirklees).

Consent Given

(can be verbal) a referral should be made:

Confirm in the clinical notes that the referral has been made.

These services will make contact with the child and arrange to meet them at a convenient time and place. Evidence suggests that the sooner intervention work is undertaken the more likely it is to be effective.

They also have dedicated CSE workers to be able to identify and work with these abused children.

The Base also has a worker dedicated to support children with alcohol dependent or substance misusing parents.

Consent Refused

If consent is refused, both by the child and person with parental responsibility, please document this in the patient notes.



  1. Diccon says:

    When you say “presenting with” alcohol or substance misuse, I assume with obvious the same even if the presenting complaint is something other?

    • embeds says:

      Definitely – under 18’s present for any reason either while or due to intoxication we should discuss referral

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