Expanding knowledge of substance abuse and drug dependent treatment for juvenile offenders

Substance use by young people is on the rise, and initiation of use is occurring at increasingly younger ages. Data released in 1996 indicated that illicit drug use by 8th graders had almost doubled (11.3 percent to 21.4 percent), while drug use by high school students has steadily risen since 1992. However, the prevalence of youth meeting diagnostic criteria for drug dependence remains unclear and the treatment models to address this dependency are limited. Unfortunately, the field is making even less progress with a particularly troubled sub-population: youthful offenders who meet clinical criteria for drug abuse and drug dependence. These juvenile offenders are not casual or experimental users but are likely to become tomorrow's adult addicts and are likely to re-offend. Most juvenile justice systems do not routinely identify these adolescents and the field has no proven clinical treatments to help them. This project will begin to fill that gap by conducting an incidence and prevalence study of New York's Juvenile Detention population and designing a treatment intervention for those juvenile offenders who meet clinical criteria for substance abuse and drug dependence. The purpose of this project is to: (1) document the prevalence of youthful offender drug dependency; (2) identify target population characteristics and correlates; (3) develop a model treatment protocol to be tested; and (4) organize and develop a clinical trial implementation team. This project will be co-funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $131,250.00

Awarded on: 6/30/1999

Time frame: 7/1/1999 - 12/31/2000

Grant Number: 36510


Vera Institute of Justice Inc.

233 Broadway, 12th Floor
New York, 10279-1299


Megan Golden
Project Director