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Developing a Policy for Controlled Substance Testing of Juveniles

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2000
12 pages
This Bulletin provides an overview of substance testing of juveniles, describes the major indicators of the need for such testing, and summarizes the research on recent trends in substance abuse.
The use of alcohol and other drugs is a central factor in the delinquent behavior of many youth. Substance testing can identify youth who need treatment and other interventions for substance abuse; deter the use of alcohol and other drugs, thereby also increasing public safety; screen for substances that may lead to health and safety problems for the youth and others; and assist agency staff in making appropriate case plans and supervising and monitoring compliance with court orders or program rules. This Bulletin identifies the major indicators of the need for substance testing and documents the extent of substance use by juveniles, as well as the consequences of substance abuse by youth. Other topics discussed are the key elements of the implementation of a program of substance testing, major steps for program implementation, the potential impact of substance testing on juvenile justice system components, and the potential impact on the accountability of affected youth. Some program examples presented are in the areas of juvenile and family drug courts, substance testing in juvenile detention facilities, and substance abuse testing in probation programs. 21 references and 38 suggestions for obtaining additional information

Date Published: June 1, 2000