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NCJ Number: 158694 Find in a Library
Title: Clear and Present Danger: Scope of the Problem
Journal: Juvenile and Family Court Journal  Volume:46  Issue:4  Dated:(Fall 1995)  Pages:3-5
Author(s): L Acoca
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: State Justice Institute
Alexandria, VA 22314
Grant Number: SJI-95-11H-C-030
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides an overview of the scope of juvenile drug use, its effects, and barriers to countering this trend.
Abstract: The most recent Monitoring the Future Survey, a nationwide survey of adolescent substance abuse conducted at regular intervals, found that teen alcohol and other drug abuse is once again increasing. The survey, which now includes eighth and tenth graders, reports that use of marijuana has doubled and that the use of cocaine and psychedelics by 13- and 14-year-olds has increased significantly between 1991 and 1994. By eighth grade, 70 percent of adolescents have consumed alcohol, and by the time adolescents reach their senior year in high school, 88 percent have consumed alcohol. The report also reveals the highest rate of LSD use among high school seniors since 1985, and teachers and counselors across the country are reporting that children in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades have easy access to LSD on middle-school campuses. Tobacco's critical role as the "gateway drug" has also recently been exposed. According to a 1995 study published by the National Center for Health Statistics, children and adolescents who smoke are significantly more likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs. Consequences of this trend include dysfunctional psychosocial development, poor school performance, violent and delinquent behavior, and increased risk for HIV infection. Treatment resources for this population either do not exist or are shrinking, particularly for disadvantaged minority youth. One of the greatest barriers to effective identification, assessment, and treatment of adolescent substance abusers is that the culture in which they live is radically different from the youth culture that most treatment and legal professionals experienced in their youth.
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug use
Index Term(s): Drug Related Crime; Drug treatment; Tobacco use; Underage Drinking; Violence causes
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