72% of young people arriving at Oberstown Detention Centre have substance misuse problems

A new report shows more than half were not going to school before arriving at the centre

72% of young people arriving at Oberstown Detention Centre have substance misuse problems

Oberstown Campus

Almost three quarters of young people at Oberstown Children Detention Campus in Dublin have a substance misuse problem, according to a new report.

The study by Oberstown Detention Centre aims to give an insight into the adversity and trauma the teens in its care have faced.

52% of young people arriving in the first quarter of this year had either a diagnosis of ADHD, a referral for mental health or psychiatric services, or experience of mediated illness.

More than half were not going to school before arriving at the centre, and at least a third had suffered the loss of one or both parents through death, imprisonment or separation.

72% of the young people had substance misuse problems, and 38 of those were identified as having a mental health problem.

Oberstown campus

Oberstown says the report highlights the challenges it faces in helping young people with complex needs.

It hopes that publishing the information will encourage communities will play their part in helping to turn young offenders' lives around.

Deputy Director Care Services at Oberstown, Lena Timoney, explained: "Young people in detention have a variety of needs, specifically in relation to mental health and substance misuse.

"Oberstown and key stakeholders in the community need to work together to try and address these areas of risk and need in this particular population... both to help them desist from offending behaviour, but also to improve outcomes for them in their later life."

Figures show a total of 74 young people were on the Oberstown campus in May, a majority of them between 16 and 18 years of age.