THE number of young people in Inverclyde using drugs has been highlighted as a problem - and plans are being put in place for a new initiative in schools.

Health and social care chief Louise Long told a public meeting that authorities are determined to address the issue.

Speaking at a consultation event on the future of health services, she said that drug use overall in Inverclyde has fallen by 12 per cent in the last two years.

Bosses are now devising a new health and wellbeing programme in schools, to combat drug use amongst young people.

Director Ms Long said: "New figures show that among adults drug use has fallen by 12 per cent in the last two years, which is really good news.

"But with young people it is not improving as quickly as we would like.

"We are about to put a tender out for the third sector to come on board.

"We are looking at a health and wellbeing project in schools which will include drugs education."

At the same time there will be a review carried out into addiction services, with plans to merge alcohol and drugs services together.

Ms Long says the district lags behind other areas in this regard and addiction services need updated.

The director spoke about addiction services and the new health and wellbeing programme as part of a presentation on changes needed to services.

Bosses say that a whole host of challenges - including an ageing population, growing demand, less resources and a need to stop people from ending up in hospital - mean they have to act urgently.

Their 'Moving Forward Together' programme looks at how to use technology and new ways of working to shift away from acute and residential care into the community.

This includes looking at self-care and making greater use of all health professionals to address the chronic shortage of GPs in Inverclyde.