Runaway youth admitted to juvenile detention: Factors associated with cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use

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Sanna J. Thompson
Liliane Cambraia Windsor


The high rates of substance use among American adolescents are challenging, especially among runaway youth who are often identified as delinquent and find themselves in juvenile detention centers. Current services offered by juvenile detention centers focus on offering safe, short-term residential care; however, substance use issues are common among these youth. Although providing substance use treatment is an
unlikely addition to these juvenile justice agencies, the authors posit that these facil ities are in a prime position to facilitate screening, assessment, and referral. Addressing issues of substance abuse among runaway youth admitted to juvenile detention must be a major objective for prevention and treatment for this high-risk population. Although intervent ions that address substance use among runaway, delinquent youth are limited, future research must implement and evaluate early intervention strategies aimed at addressing the complex and multifaceted challenges experienced by these youth.

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