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Health Disparities in Drug- and Alcohol-Use Disorders: A 12-Year Longitudinal Study of Youths After Detention

NCJ Number
American Journal of Public Health Volume: 106 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2016 Pages: 872-880
Leah J. Welty; Anna J. Harrison; Karen M. Abram; Nicole D. Olson; David A. Aaby; Kathleen P. McCoy; Jason J. Washburn; Linda A. Teplin
Date Published
May 2016
9 pages
This study examined sex and racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of nine substance-use disorders (SUDs) alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogen or PCP, opiate, amphetamine, inhalant, sedative, and unspecified drug in youths during the 12 years after detention.
The study found that after detention, SUDs differed markedly by sex, race/ethnicity, and substance abused; contrary to stereotypes, SUDs did not disproportionately affect African Americans. Services to treat substance abuseduring incarceration and after releasewould reach many people in need, and address health disparities in a highly vulnerable population. By median age 28 years, 91.3 percent of males and 78.5 percent of females had ever had an SUD. At most follow-ups, males had greater odds of alcohol- and marijuana-use disorders. Drug-use disorders were most prevalent among non-Hispanic Whites, followed by Hispanics, then African Americans (e.g., compared with African Americans, non-Hispanic Whites had 32.1 times the odds of cocaine-use disorder [95 percent confidence interval = 13.8, 74.7]). The study used data from the Northwestern Juvenile Project, a prospective longitudinal study of 1,829 youths randomly sampled from detention in Chicago, Illinois, starting in 1995 and reinterviewed up to nine times in the community or correctional facilities through 2011. Independent interviewers assessed SUDs with Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children 2.3 (baseline) and Diagnostic Interview Schedule version IV (follow-ups). 1 table, 4 figures, and 109 references