HC Deb 07 May 1996 vol 277 c30W
Mr. Rathbone

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many callers have made use of the national drugs helpline since its launch in 1995; how the calls have been classified; what information has been supplied to callers; and what measurements have been made of the success of the helpline. [27425]

Mr. Bowis

Between 1 April 1995 and 31 March 1996, the national drugs helpline answered 192,755 calls. They are classified by whether they are interactive or non-interactive— whether advice or counselling is given—and by the profile of callers, which includes gender, age, location, ethnicity, language, misuser/non-misuser and the reason for the call.

The helpline operates a free 24 hours-a-day confidential service staffed by trained counsellors who provide callers with advice and counselling, information on drugs and solvents, and on local drug services. The helpline also distributes leaflets and literature about drugs and solvent misuse to callers on request.

The national drugs helpline is currently being evaluated by independent consultants. Their report on the Department is expected at the end of May.

The helpline number is 0800 77 66 00.