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Substance Use Disorders Among Adolescents Involved with the Juvenile Justice System

Adolescents involved with the juvenile justice system experience higher rates of substance use disorders.

In a multi State study analyzing over 1,400 youth across three juvenile justice settings (community-based, detention centers and secure residential facilities), Shufelt and Cocozza found that 46.2% of sampled youth met criteria for a substance use disorder.*

In an analysis 1,066 individuals participating in 14 CSAT Young Offender Reentry Program (YORP) sites from 2004-2006, 90% self-reported criteria for substance disorders and 40% were classified with past year dependence.**

** Dennis, M.L. (2006). Part 2: Institution-Based Treatment for Adolescents with Substance Use/Co-Occurring Disorders. A Presentation made to the SAMHSA/OJJDP Expert Panel on Juvenile Justice and Substance Abuse Treatment, December 6, 2006.

* Shufelt, J.L. and Cocozza, J.J. (2006). Youth with Mental Health Disorders in the Juvenile Justice System: Results from a Multi-State Prevalence Study. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice.

© Doreen A. Cavanaugh, Ph.D.

November  12, 2009

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