There is a clear connection between juvenile drug use and crime. Juvenile drug use is a concern in many parts of the country. There are many questions and concerns raised when people start to question why juveniles become drug users and how they have access to illegal substances.
While alcohol may not be the first drug that comes to mind when substance abuse is mentioned, it continues to be the most commonly used and abused substance among juveniles and adults. Harder drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroine, have also become more common and easier to ...view middle of the document...
If family members are drug users, this also increases their risk of experimenting with drugs. Many juveniles become stressed or have other emotional issues and they turn to drug use to cope with those problems. Juveniles who are drug users almost always end up involved in delinquent activity and the justice system. Drug users become dependent in drug and many times will commit crimes to support their habits. Illegal substances impair judgment and can cause individuals to involve themselves in illegal activity without thinking about consequences. Juveniles who are involved in gangs and drug use are often involved in violent crimes to establish gang territory and establish status.
Juvenile drug use will continue as long as the substances exist and are accessible. The connections between juvenile crime rates and drug use might rise and fall, but will follow the trend indefinitely.
Substance Use & Misuse, 40:721–734 Copyright © 2005 Taylor & Francis Inc. ISSN: 1082-6084 (print); 1532-2491
Journal of Criminal Justice, Youth gangs, drug use, and delinquency, Volume 27, Issue 2, March–April 1999, Pages 101–109
Siegel, L., & Welsh, B. (2011). Juvenile delinquency: The core (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.