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Substance Abuse Among Juveniles: What Corrections Can Do

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 50 Issue: 2 Dated: (April 1988) Pages: 208,210-211
D C Brenna
Date Published
3 pages
This article examines the scope of drug abuse problems among Washington State juvenile inmates and describes institutional and postrelease drug treatment and monitoring programs for juveniles.
The testing of a sample population of juveniles in the Washington State residential system, using the Client Substance Index (CSI), revealed that 67.3 percent of the sample were chemically dependent, and another 20.2 percent were abusing drugs or alcohol. The State Division of Juvenile Rehabilitation tests juvenile offenders committed to the division using the CSI. All community-based programs regularly use urinalysis for drug testing. All clients receive basic information on drug alcohol abuse as the first level of intervention. Small group treatment is provided youths assessed as substance abusers or as chemically dependent. Treatment emphases include values clarification, refusal skills, decisionmaking, the nature of chemical dependency, social contracting, grief, work, and family. Individual sessions are used as needed. Aftercare services include education, treatment, and accessibility to support groups. Treatment is supported by a network of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings during and after inpatient or small group treatment. Although process evaluation of the program shows it has achieved program goals, client outcomes have yet to be determined. Such studies will begin in 1988.


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