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Breakdown: The child drug problem where you are

Dozens of children aged 14 or under have been referred for treatment for drug or alcohol abuse across the Midlands.

The youngest patients in the region were in Herefordshire, where children as young as nine were seen.

The breakdown of the situation across the region is as follows:

  • Birmingham - 11
  • City Of Derby - 12
  • City Of Peterborough - 12
  • Coventry - 12
  • Gloucestershire - 12
  • Herefordshire - 9
  • Lincolnshire - 11
  • Northamptonshire - 12
  • Sandwell - 12
  • Solihull - 13
  • South Gloucestershire - 13
  • Stoke on Trent - 12
  • Telford and Wrekin - 12
  • Warwickshire - 14
  • Wolverhampton - 12

Senior MP 'shocked' at report on child drug use

The head of the influential House of Commons home affairs committee says he is "deeply concerned" at an investigation showing children as young as four are being treated for drug and alcohol misuse.

Labour MP Keith Vaz called on parents to do more to prevent risks to their children.

"It is right that these youngsters receive the appropriate help but we must look at the source of their problems," he said.

"It is vital that parents take responsibility and additional support is given to them in order to prevent children being exposed to drugs and alcohol in the first place."


Nine-year-olds treated for drug and alcohol abuse

Children as young as nine are being treated for drug and alcohol abuse in the West Midlands, according to figures released this morning.

The youngest patients were in Herefordshire, while in Birmingham patients aged 11 were reported. In Coventry, Stoke, and Telford, the youngest patients were aged just 12 years old.

Cannabis was one of the drugs children were referred for using
Cannabis was one of the drugs children were referred for using Credit: David Cheskin/PA

A total of 366 children aged 12 or under were referred for treatment in 2012/13 across the country, according to the most recent figures from Public Health England, down from 433 in 2011/12.

More than half of under-13s - 59 per cent - received treatment for cannabis misuse, while a third were treated for alcohol misuse. A small number abused solvents.

After the investigation, carried out by the Press Association, treatment experts said the most common reason for children to come into contact with drugs and alcohol was through their parents - and calls for more preventative work to be done.

Aerial shots of the rural Midlands from the Air Ambulance Service

Hereford United given another week to pay tax bill

The club owe £78,000 to HMRC Credit: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

Hereford United have been given an extra week to pay a £78,000 tax bill which threatens the club's future.

The Bulls have said a part payment was made towards the amount on Friday afternoon following negotiations with HMRC.

Today a judge in London agreed to a seven day adjournment which gives The Bulls time to pay the outstanding debt.

Last night, comedian Omid Djalili helped raise £21,000 for the club, by performing two benefit gigs.

'Boycie' actor John Challis congratulates Omid Djalili for Hereford Utd fundraiser

'Only Fools and Horses' actor John Challis has congratulated comedian Omid Djalili for helping to raise £21,000 for cash-strapped Hereford United.

The Iranian entertainer performed to nearly a thousand people at the Courtyard Theatre (yesterday).

Challis, who is famous for playing Boycie in the TV sitcom, lives in Hereford.


Flood-hit Worcester businesses say town is open for business

by Hannah Stokes

It's not just the cost of the clear-up operation many companies have had to deal with, but for many the loss of business was a big factor.

The county experienced the highest floods since those in 2007, displacing some from their homes and disrupting daily life for many.

But today everyone remains upbeat and the message is clear - firms are now very much open for business.

Government grant for homeowners to tackle future flooding

People could be eligible for up to £5,000 under the grant Credit: PA

The government has announced that people whose homes and businesses were flooded between 1 December and 31 March can now apply for a government grant of up to £5,000 through their local authority, regardless of where they live.

Dan Rogerson the Environment Minister the government is encouraging anyone who has been flooded to apply for a grant to become more flood resilient.

Warning after syphilis outbreak in Herefordshire

An urgent health warning has been issued after Herefordshire reported one of the highest levels of syphilis across the West Midlands for three years running.

The county saw the highest level of the sexually-transmitted disease in the region in both 2011 and 2013, and the second highest in 2012.

Health chiefs say the current outbreak has largely concerned men - but warned that women are at risk as well.

Wye Valley NHS Trust is urging people to use protection
Wye Valley NHS Trust is urging people to use protection Credit: Niall Carson/PA

Sexual Health consultant at Wye Valley NHS Trust, Dr Catherine Chima-Okereke, urged sexually-active people to always use protection.

Anyone who has had unprotected sex, especially oral sex, is at risk of syphilis as well as other sexually-transmitted infections.

Syphilis is infectious in its early stages - although there are often no symptoms so you wouldn’t even know if you had it.

Left untreated, it can cause serious health problems and permanent damage to many organs, including the eyes, heart and brain. The only way that you can prevent catching or spreading the infection is to avoid sexual contact.

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