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The Role of Drugs In The Youth Culture

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Juvenile delinquency and drug abuse both share identical patterns of behavioral problems. Youth and adolescents who misuse drugs are subject to delinquent and drug abuse behaviors. However an effective substance abuse treatment programs for juvenile delinquents should be implemented so that successful rehabilitation is accomplished. There are many similarities among criminal behaviors among youths and drug abuse. Drug abuse cases are a huge problem among youth offenders than non-offending youths. Drug abuse is a major contributing factor among youths. The Texas Juvenile Justice system reported that 25% of their youth are substance abusers (Carter, 2012). There are many causes to explain the relationship between juvenile delinquency and drug abuse.

The reasons are that youth who drink displays behaviors that results in being violence, driving under the influence, and making impulsive decisions. Another reason is that youth who are exposed to drugs are often befriended by negative peer pressure. However those who are blinded by the substance abuse and negative peer influence often end up committing criminal acts, to include stealing, breaking and entering, or robbing individuals to support their substance abuse habits(Mulvey, Schubert & Chassin, 2010). When indulging in drugs a person’s mental capacity is altered and is unable to think about making better decisions. The juvenile system, drug court and family court are effective systems for reinforcing positive behaviors.

These systems translate what is expected from youths to live a successful and productive life after being rehabilitated from treatment. There are several clinical and programmatic problems that a counselor may be encountered with when implementing a treatment plan for juveniles who are substance users. The first issues that comes to mind is obtaining a consent form for the youth’s parents. The members on the treatment staff do not possess the skills to offers clinical service to those incarcerated. Facilities are over populated with minimal staff who are overworked, therefore treatment may not carried out. The school is another issue of working around the adolescent school’s schedule and informing the school’s counselor of the treatment needed. Many juveniles try to be private about their personal affairs but they may be stigmatized by peers or old gang members for trying to receive treatment to result in positive behavior.

One of the most difficult factor involved in engaging hard-to-reach adolescent populations are youth who are gang affiliated and do not have any family support after they disengage themselves from the gang members. However another group is the homeless nomadic youths (Sanders, 2008). There are approximately 1.5 million who wonder around the streets, (known as travelers) hungry, desolate, self- medicate and indulge in heavy drugs (Sander, 2008).These youth are difficult to reach because they are constant in transient. There are some similar links between juvenile delinquency and drug abuse. The similarities are the negative behaviors increase substance abuse. Thus, juvenile systems should continue to implement juvenile court, drug court and family court to reinforce and rehabilitate positive behavior. However to produce effective results the juvenile system to employ more staff that are skilled, competent and so that these youth are getting the appropriate treatment to be better citizens in society. The family will also take part in treatment for positive behavior.


Carter S. (2012). The Relationship between Substance Abuse and Teen Crime. October 28, 2013. Mulvey E. Schubert C. & Chassin L. (2010). Substance use and Delinquent Behaviors among Serious Adolescent Offenders. October 28, 2013. https:// www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/1/ojjdps/ 232790. pdf

Sanders,B., Lankenau,S.E., Jackson-Bloom, J., & Hathazi. D. (2008). Multiple drug use and polydrug use among homeless traveling youth. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse.

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