Adolescents

Statistics and other data regarding drug use and other risk-taking behavior among young people, as well as drug policies related to young people including prevention, education, social development, healthcare, mental health, and criminal justice.

Historical Trends in Juvenile Drug Arrest Rates, by Race

(Historical Trends in Juvenile Drug Arrest Rates, by Race) "In contrast to the 1980-1993 period, the overall juvenile drug arrest rate increased by 77% in the short period between 1993 and 1997. Large increases were also seen in the rates of juvenile subgroups: male (72%), female (119%), white (109%), American Indian (160%), and Asian (105%). The black juvenile arrest rate for drug abuse violations, which had increased dramatically in the earlier period, increased an additional 25% between 1993 and 1997.

Historical Trends in Juvenile Arrest Rates

(Historical Trends in Juvenile Arrest Rates) "In 1980, there were an estimated 1,476 arrests of persons ages 10-12 for every 100,000 persons in this age group in the U.S. population. By 2003, this arrest rate had fallen to 1,296, a decline of 12%. In 1980, 9.5% of all juvenile arrests were arrests of persons under age 13; in 2003, this percentage had decreased to 8.5% -- with the majority of the decrease occurring during the mid-1990s."

Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations

(Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations) The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention estimated that in 2007 there were 195,700 arrests of juveniles for drug abuse violations out of a total 2,180,500 juvenile arrests. By comparison, there were 97,100 violent crime index offense arrests and 419,000 property crime index offense arrests of juveniles that year.

Ease of Obtaining Drugs

(Ease of Obtaining Drugs) "This year we asked teens, 'Which is easiest to get: cigarettes, marijuana, beer or prescription drugs?' (prior to 2010, we asked, 'Which is easiest to buy?') Cigarettes remain at the top of the list, with 27 percent of teens saying cigarettes are easier to get than other drugs. Beer closely followed cigarettes as the easiest drug for teens to get. Marijuana is third, with 19 percent of teens reporting that it is easiest to get this year, compared to 22 percent last year.

Attitudes of Young People Toward Legalization of Marijuana

(Attitudes of Young People Toward Legalization of Marijuana)
"• Table 8-8 lists the proportions of 12th graders in 2013 who favor various legal consequences for marijuana use: making it entirely legal (42%), a minor violation like a parking ticket but not a crime (25%), or a crime (21%). The remaining 13% said they 'don’t know.' It is noteworthy just how variable attitudes about this contentious issue are.

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