Drug Use and Delinquency

Drug Use and Delinquency

Frequently Abused Drugs


Marijuana Timeline






Texas Underage Alcohol Laws

Alcohol and Other Drugs on Campus


Questions Surface About Hydrocodone

Other Drug Categories

Anesthetic Drugs





Other Drug Categories



Designer Drugs


Drug Use Today

The Monitoring the Future (MTF) Survey

The PRIDE Survey

Are the Survey Results Accurate?


More than half of all high-school-age kids have tried drugs.

Of these drugs, the most commonly used is marijuana.

Use of cocaine and crack is on the decline.

Alcohol remains the drug of choice for most teens.

Ecstasy has become popular in recent years.

Teenage drug use is measured by two national surveys, the Monitoring the Future Survey and the PRIDE Survey.

Both of these surveys show that drug and alcohol use has declined in recent years.

Why Do Youths Take Drugs?

Social Disorganization

Peer Pressure

Family Factors

Genetic Factors

Emotional Problems

Addiction-prone personality

Problem Behavior Syndrome

Rational Choice

Pathways to Drug Abuse

Gateway Drug

Focus on Preventing and Treating Delinquency: Problem Behaviors and Drug Abuse

Adolescents who distribute Small Amounts of Drugs

Adolescents Who Frequently Sell Drugs

Teenage Drug Dealers Who Commit Other Delinquent Acts

Losers and Burnouts

Persistent Offenders


Some kids take drugs because they live in disorganized areas in which there is a high degree of hopeless ness, poverty, and despair.

There is peer pressure to take drugs and to drink.

Kids whose parents take drugs are more likely to become abusers themselves.

Some experts believe that drug dependency is a genetic condition.

Youngsters with emotional problems may be drug-prone.

Drug use may be part of a general problem behavior syndrome.

Drug use may also be rational: kids take drugs and drink alcohol simply because they enjoy the experience.

There are a number of pathways to drug abuse.

Some users distribute small amounts of drugs, others are frequent dealers, while another group supplements drug dealing with other crimes.

Some users are always in trouble and are considered burnouts.

Drugs and Chronic Offending

Explaining Drug Use and Delinquency

What Does This Mean to Me? Reducing Drug Activity

Drug Control Strategies

Law Enforcement Efforts

Source Control

Border Control

Community Strategies

Treatment Strategies

Multisystemic Treatment (MST)

Focus on Preventing and Treating Delinquency: Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)

Targeting Dealers

Education Strategies

What Does the Future Hold?

Legalization of Drugs

Juvenile Drug Courts Must Be Different

Differences in juvenile and adult drug use dictate that juvenile drug courts should be different from their adult drug court counterparts. In a recent report, Juvenile Drug Courts: Strategies in Practice, the National Drug Court Institute (NDCI) and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) advise courts to focus on rehabilitation, not punishment, and to recognize that most juveniles are not addicted to the substances they use. The report is also available in text format.


There is a strong association between drug use and delinquency.

Juvenile arrestees often test positive for drugs.

Chronic offenders are often drug abusers.

Though drug use and delinquency are associated, it is difficult to show that abusing drugs leads kids into a delinquent way of life.

There are a number of drug-control strategies, some relying on law enforcement efforts and other on treatment.

There are a number of drug education initiatives

D.A.R.E. is a popular school-based prevention program that has been the target of recent criticism; it is being revamped.

New Directions in Preventing Delinquency

Secondary Prevention Efforts: Family and Community


After-School Programs

Job Training

Comprehensive Community-Based Programs

Future of Delinquency Prevention