Most young people who land in juvenile court have been using drugs, which may shed light on why some kids commit moreserious crimes and continue getting into trouble.
Kids involved in criminal activity are much more likely than other juvenile offenders to abuse drugs and alcohol, according to a study commissioned by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
The Pathways to Desistance study, called Substance Use and Delinquent Behavior Among Serious Adolescent Offenders, looked at more than 1,300 young offenders over 7 years.
The study shows kids involved with drugs need income and they have trouble coping and making decisions. They get into trouble and fail to take responsibility for their actions.
Here are some other links between drug abuse and teen offenders:
- Kids who abuse drugs when they’re young are morel likely to get in trouble when they’re older.
- Kids with diagnosable problems are more likely to get treatment in jail for drug and alcohol abuse than those who are not diagnosed.
Researchers recommend that justice system put more effort into finding, diagnosing and treating kids because they will be less likely to get into trouble as they get older.