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Levenmouth Community Profile

lmth mapThe Levenmouth Committee Area has a population of 37,659.  This accounts for 11% of Fife’s population.  The latest Scottish Public Health Observatory data released in 2010 provides a range of information at Community Health Partnership level (CHP) and where possible at interzone level (area populations of 3000).  

For the Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth CHP area, the health and wellbeing profile reported the following; male and female life expectancies are not significantly different to Scotland; all-cause mortality (all ages), and mortality rates from coronary heart disease, cancer and cerebrovascular disease (under-75s), are not significantly different to the Scotland average whereas infant mortality rates are almost double the national average.  Diabetes prevalence is also significantly worse than the average as is the proportion of the population hospitalised with asthma.

For patients aged 65 and over with multiple hospitalisations, and for road traffic accident casualties, the proportions of the population hospitalised are significantly better (lower) than average. The area is not significantly different to Scotland on the three mental health indicators of patients prescribed drugs for anxiety, depression or psychosis.

Further analysis of this data, however, shows that when Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth areas are split up, Levenmouth is showing that for the majority of indicators health is poorer than the Kirkcaldy Committee Area as a whole, Fife and Scotland.

The following information concentrates on drug misuse data for areas within Levenmouth followed by alcohol data.  The final section will look at children and young people followed by other local areas issues that can have an impact on substance misuse.

 

Drug Misuse Data

Hospital Data

Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth Community Health Partnership (CHP) is the fourth highest of all 38 Scottish CHP areas for hospital admissions relating to drug misuse.  (It also has the fourth highest rate of crime).

 

Discharges

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Fife

202

231

261

328

367

371

367

403

394

Levenmouth

60

78

72

79

79

83

82

85

90

 

The number of general acute hospital discharges relating to drug misuse has increased in Fife with 23% of all discharges coming from Levenmouth in 2010.  This proportion has remained consistent since 2002.  The majority of hospital admissions are related to opiate drugs.

When the standardised rate per head of population is applied, the rate considerably higher than the Fife average and the highest local committee area in Fife

 

Age Standardised Rate per 100,000

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Fife

63

72

82

102

114

115

111

124

120

Levenmouth

192

254

239

251

263

267

259

274

291

 

lmth-Community-profile-graph1

Due to disclosure policies data at a lower level is no longer available as numbers are suppressed to protect identities.

Interzone level data was produced by Scottish Public Health Observatory in 2008 and can be used to identify greatest areas of need in conjunction with more up to date information from SIMD2009.

From the 11 interzone areas in Levenmouth 5 areas have remained in Fife’s top 10 for hospital admissions for drug misuse (Fife has 103 interzones).  These priority areas account for 45% of the whole area and are marked in red (dark). The blue (dotted) areas have similar hospital admission rates and are in Fife’s top 20% (listed in order below)

lmth-Community-profile-stats2       lmth-Community-profile-map3

Drug Deaths

There have been a total of 20 Levenmouth drug deaths in 5 years out of 111 from Fife

(18% of all Fife Drug Deaths 2005-2009)

This is an average of 4 per year with a crude rate of 10.62 deaths per 100,000 of the whole population.  The rate for Fife is 6.35.  Deaths occurred in Leven, Methil, Buckhaven and Kennoway. 

Latest research shows that the average age of a drug death victim is 32 years old.  Almost a fifth of victims are female. 

Injecting Equipment Data

In Fife in 2009/10 there were 16,345[1] needle exchange contacts.  30% of these contacts were made in Levenmouth.  A third accessed clean needles from chemists in the area and two thirds through the needle exchange service at Leven’s Homes4good centre delivered by Frontline Fife.

Frontline Fife conducted research[2] in 2010 capturing a ‘snapshot’ of activity during 25 days between June and July.  227 people responded to the survey.  This research documented the varying needs that people have in addition to their substance misuse problems.  The research also highlighted the gender imbalance, an increase in age, an increase in steroid users and that “Many of the clients are on Methadone prescriptions and are “dabbling” with cocktails of other drugs”.

Discarded Needles

This data is recorded by Fife Council environmental services.  There is no pattern or trend in relation to discarded needles in Levenmouth or in any other part of Fife.  There was a peak in the number of incidents in July 10 and March 11 in Fife.

Figures are the number of incidents recorded and do not refer to the number of needles found.

lmth-Community-profile-graph4

Prevalence data

The third national drug prevalence study, Estimating the National and Local Prevalence of Problem Drug Misuse in Scotland study was published in 2009 using 2006 data.  This study estimated Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth CHP area’s prevalence rate for opiate and benzodiazepine drug misuse is 2.16% of population (15-64year olds). This rate is higher than the Fife average 1.27% and higher still than Scotland 1.62%.  The important thing to note is that the prevalence figure for Fife has remained the same since 1998. In Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth the estimated figures have increased.

This prevalence study was unable to determine the level of problem drug use of other substances in Fife.  It is believed that NHS Fife is conducting their own prevalence study to encompass problem drug misuse across a range of substances.

Drug possession charges for non opiate/benzodiazepines drugs in Levenmouth show that almost 90% of those charged in 2009 were for Cannabis.  Levenmouth Committee area has the second lowest number of stimulant drug possession charges of all area committees.  This perhaps highlights local geographical variations of substance availability and should be used to inform prevention work.

Age breakdown of those charged with possession:

lmth-Community-profile-graph5

Alcohol Misuse Data

Hospital Data

The number of general acute hospital discharges relating to alcohol misuse has increased in Fife with 15% of all discharges coming from Levenmouth in 2010.  This proportion has increased steadily since 2007 where previously had remained consistent.  

 

Discharges

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Fife

1737

1690

1591

1936

2012

2220

2335

2267

2263

Levenmouth

226

224

201

266

254

308

337

331

345

 

When the standardised rate per head of population is applied, the rate is not only higher than the Fife average but has increased by over 50% since 2002.

 

Age Standardised Rate per 100,000

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Fife

483

468

430

527

535

589

619

596

593

Levenmouth

594

595

505

687

635

786

866

834

916

 

lmth-Community-profile-graph6

From the 11 interzone areas in Levenmouth 3 areas are in Fife’s top 10 for hospital admissions for alcohol misuse.  These priority areas account for 27% of the whole area and are marked in red (dark). The 3 blue (dotted) areas have hospital admission rates in Fife’s top 20% (listed in order below).

lmth-Community-profile-stats7       lmth-Community-profile-map8

 

Data for the whole of Fife shows that females aged 40-49 have a peak number of alcohol related episodes at almost double any other age range.  For males, the number also doubles from those in their 30s to males in their 40s; the number of episodes however keeps increasing with age.

Alcohol Deaths

There were 20 alcohol related deaths in Levenmouth in 2009.  The crude rate is 52 per head 100,000 population.  For Fife this is 39 and for Scotland its 41. 

One third are female deaths.  Over 60s accounted for half of the overall total.

Alcohol related anti-social behaviour

An alcohol diversion scheme has been in operation in Levenmouth for 6 months. The scheme offers individuals arrested for alcohol related anti-social behaviour offences, an opportunity to forgo payment of a fixed penalty and instead attend a brief alcohol education course provided by Fife Alcohol Support Service (FASS). 

84 people have been referred to the Scheme for low level alcohol offences, 29 people attended the course.

85% of all Fife course attendees feel motivated to drink more sensibly in the future.

 

Children & Young People and Substance Misuse

Substance Misuse and Pregnancy

Between 2008 and 2010 an annual average of 14 pregnant women from Levenmouth received treatment from the ‘Vulnerable in Pregnancy’ midwife project almost all for drug dependency.  Levenmouth women account for 15% of women receiving specialist prenatal care for substance misuse.

The project was highlighted as an area of good practice in the HMIe Child Protection Inspection in Fife.

The audit data indicates that this client group do respond well to intervention in pregnancy and that pregnancy outcomes have been improved. Outcomes are measured by:

  • Gestation at delivery
  • Birth weight increased
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome and treatment reduced
  • Breast feeding rates improved
  • Referral to Social Services earlier

The service noted that “while it has been evidenced that outcomes are improving it is still recognised that the relapse rate for these women is high”.

Under Sixteens Hospital Data

In 2010/11 there was a decrease on the previous year in the number of under sixteen year old hospitalised in Levenmouth as a result of alcohol or drug misuse.   Four out of seven local committee areas numbers fell which resulted in an overall decrease for Fife.

lmth-Community-profile-graph9

Levenmouth has a slightly higher rate than all other areas in Fife.  The majority (72%) of under sixteen’s hospitalised in Levenmouth for drugs or alcohol are aged between 13-15year olds.  Each local area committee has instances of children under 5 attending A&E and less so children aged 6-12.  These figures have been suppressed.

Substance Use - School Survey Data

Fife Schools and Adolescence Lifestyle Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) 2006[3] reported overall improvements with pupils reporting drinking and drug taking in Fife since 2002 and the National SALSUS 2008 [4] report suggested continued improvements.  The 2010 Fife data will be published in October 2011.

Research emphasises the links between problem substance use, low educational attainment and higher instances of unconventional behaviours such as truancy from school, criminal activity or antisocial behaviour. 

Many areas of Levenmouth have school attainment rates (based on average tariff score of S4 pupils) that are considerable lower than the Scottish average with Methil West and East among the lowest in the country.  Largo and Leven East conversely have far better attainment levels and among the highest in Fife.  There is also a high proportion of Levenmouth that has low secondary school attendance levels, again Largo and Leven East have much higher attendance rates.  Methil East, West, Methilhill and Buckhaven emerge as priority areas.

Additional Local Area Issues

Multiple Deprivation

People in deprived areas are more at risk of developing substance misuse problems and are at the same time less likely to overcome them.  Those from the least affluent areas are often deprived of income, experience high unemployment, have a lack of aspiration, are offered less life chances and are less able to access essential services.

Over a third of Levenmouth geography appears in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland (2009)[5] with persistent pockets of multiple deprivation in Methilhill, Methil, Denbeath, and parts of Buckhaven, Leven and Kennoway.

Levenmouth overall has less employment deprivation than in 2006, however, in relative terms, the scale of employment deprivation has worsened with a higher number in Scotland’s 20% most employment deprived.  Income deprivation has risen in Scotland, Fife and Levenmouth at the same rate but Levenmouth has a higher proportion.  42% of Levenmouth appears in Scotland’s top 20% for crime deprivation.  Again, Methil East, West, Methilhill and Buckhaven appear as priority areas.

These deprivation barriers, coupled with further exposure within the family and community, makes substance misuse easier to engage in and a harder cycle to break and this data emphasises that substance misuse should not be treated in isolation. 

 

Louise Bowman, ADP Policy Officer

08451 555 555 ext 446104

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



[1] http://www.drugmisuse.isdscotland.org/publications/local/injecting_provision2011.pdf

[2] This report is available from ADP Support Team

[3] NHS Scotland (2006) Smoking, Drinking and Drug use among 13 and 15 year olds in Fife. Edinburgh: ISD

http://www.drugmisuse.isdscotland.org/publications/abstracts/salsus/Fife_2006.pdf

[4] NHS Scotland (2008) Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): National Report 2008. Edinburgh: ISD

http://www.drugmisuse.isdscotland.org/publications/local/SALSUS_2008.pdf

[5] Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2009: Focus on Levenmouth

http://admin.1fife.org.uk/uploadfiles/publications/c64_KnowFifeBriefingSIMD09v2FocusonLevenmouth.pdf