Substance Abuse Treatment Of The Juvenile Justice System Essay

1486 Words Jun 23rd, 2015 6 Pages
Substance Abuse Treatment in the Juvenile Justice System
Juvenile offenders have a high rate of substance use. Upon arrival to a correctional facility after being detained, approximately 56% of boys and 40% of girls tested positive for drugs. Most of these youth test positively for marijuana or cocaine, but many are addicted to many more substances. The DSM-V defines a substance-use disorder as “a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress…” classified by encompassing 2 or more of 11 different criteria from the manual. By effectively treating substance-use disorders, the juvenile justice system can: a) stop the offender from committing the criminal act of drug use itself and b) decrease recidivism rates of juvenile offenders by truly treating them instead of perpetuating them to become a product of the cyclical “drug-crime” pattern.
Needs of Juvenile Offenders
Juvenile offenders often enter the correctional system with a family history of criminality, drug use, and neglect. Many female offenders have experienced a disproportionally high rate of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Many of these adolescents have grown up in areas that are low on the socioeconomic hierarchy and may not be attending school which would increase the likelihood of substance use and criminal activity. It is important to correctly identify what type of treatment the offender needs in order to be effective. If this group of adolescents’ did not…

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