U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Drug and Alcohol Use Reported by Youth in Juvenile Facilities, 2008–2018 – Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2023
28 pages

This report describes patterns of drug and alcohol use among youth in juvenile facilities before they entered custody, including drugs or alcohol ever used and types of drugs used. It also provides findings on substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder among youth by their demographic and offense characteristics.


  • More youth in juvenile facilities reported never using drugs or alcohol in their lifetime in 2018 (15%) than in 2008–09 (9%).

In data aggregated across surveys conducted in 2008–09, 2012, and 2018—

  • An estimated 81% of youth reported ever using marijuana.
  • For 9 of the 13 types of drugs examined by the survey, female youth were more likely than male youth to report having ever used them.
  • About 60% of youth met the criteria for substance use disorder (SUD) and 36% for alcohol use disorder from 2008 to 2018. 
  • About 9 in 10 (89%) American Indian or Alaska Native youth in juvenile facilities met the criteria for SUD, and more than 6 in 10 (63%) met the criteria for severe SUD.

Date Published: July 1, 2023