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Juvenile Delinquents and Drug Abuse

Essay by review  •  February 20, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,420 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,458 Views

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Does only the juvenile drinking or drugging up suffer, or do others get involved? The answer is, not only do the users suffer, but so do their family, friends, and the community. However, due to the rise of juvenile's becoming involved in substance abuse, the juvenile justice system has resulted in an increased burden. Over the past fifteen years, the fad of drug use among kids has steadily been increasing.

Persistent substance abuse among youth is often accompanied by an array of problems, including academic difficulties, health-related consequences, poor peer relationships, mental health issues, and involvement with the juvenile justice system. There are also significant consequences for family members, the community, and society in general. (NCJRS. Retrieved March 8, 2006)

I agree with this statement very much, and to add to it, I think we should also include the "life cycle." The "life cycle" is where the juvenile acquires the habit, whether through peer pressure or as apart of the cycle through heredity. They then grow up as kids with the habit, and then soon become adults and have kids of their own. Then their kids pick up the habit and the cycle just keeps going from there.

As far as academically, declining grades, absenteeism, increased risk of dropping out, and other academic problems are major effects of juvenile substance abuse. Then when it comes to the issues of health, effects could be accidental injury, physical disabilities, diseases, overdosing. The greatest effect of them all is death, due to suicide, homicide, or murder. As to the consequence of peers and community, these kids are often disengaged from school and community activities, which results into depriving their peers and the community of positive contributions that they have the potential to give to them. Mental effects of substance abuse ranges from things such as depression to withdrawals, psychosocial disorders, suicidal thoughts, and personality disorders. Then there's the juvenile's family. They are supposed to be there for the child to support them, but how can they when all these effects occurring, result into family dysfunction, trust issues, discipline issues, and things such as that.

As far as Society plays into this, the high cost economically results from price of dealing with and treating distressed patients. Burdens resulting in an increase of support needed to take care of kids who can't become self supporting and greater demands for medical help are becoming a problem in our society.

There is a huge connection between adolescent substance abuse, and delinquency. As far as the law on legalization depending on the age and mental state of a person, it is illegal no matter what; Even if the kid is underage. The legal consequences of substance abuse are arrest, adjudication, and intervention by the juvenile justice system. In most cases, delinquents usually have the same common factors of school and family problems, negative peer groups, and a lack of being social in their neighborhood and community. Substance abuse also generates violence, and crime, which has been bringing much fear to their community and its residents. Gangs, drug trafficking, prostitution, and youth homicides are also other problems that link substance abuse and delinquency together.

A huge problem arising in this though is that there is a huge demand for juvenile justice services, which is increasing the need for resources, but the system only has a limited amount of resources. I believe that the community should get together and come up with ideas on setting up some local programs to help minor troubled delinquents control and fix their habits. This could result in preventing them in being in the system for a while or even just keeping them out of it. This would free up space for kids who are in a great need of help. Instead of relying on the juvenile system creating and locating services, if the community is so worried and cares so much, then they should put a great amount of time and focus on creating some resources of their own.

There are currently three methods of identifying, screening, and test juveniles for illicit drugs. These methods are assessment instruments and techniques, drug recognition and techniques, and chemical testing. The best way to approach this is by doing all three methods.

Assessment instruments and techniques can be used to tell alcohol and drug users from nonusers, create ways for initial treatment, help with the decisions of the case managers, and give information for any services. Assessment can happen at any level of a youth's movement in the juvenile justice system. Coordination and sharing of information are key components to strategies that ensure that a kid receives the best services they need. Once the information is received, it needs to be integrated, evaluated, and used for decision-making in regards to the child. Assessment allows information to be gathered and determine the recent use of drugs or alcohol through a urinalysis. Overtime this data can help create a plan for intervention.

Drug recognition techniques were developed initially to help law enforcement officers identify motorists in traffic-arrest situations who where impaired by alcohol or other drug use. These techniques were later adapted by the Orange County Probation Department and applied in community corrections settings. The department used its findings to expand the period for detecting illicit drug use. Drug recognition techniques offer a systematic and standardized process for evaluating observable physical reactions to specific types of drugs. There are three key elements in the process:

 Verifying

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