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Teens, Drugs & Violence: A Special Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2007
5 pages
This report examines the relationship of teen drug use and violence and the risk and protective factors that parents and communities can take to keep their teens safe and drug-free.
Highlights of this special report on teens, drugs, and violence include: (1) teens who use drugs are more likely to engage in violent behavior, steal, abuse other drugs, and join gangs; (2) early use of marijuana is a warning sign for later gang involvement; (3) teens who participate in gangs are more likely to be involved in violent acts and drug use; (4) structured activities and volunteering help keep teens away from drugs; and (5) parents are the most powerful influence on their kids when it comes to using illicit drugs. Scientists examine behaviors such as drug use, violence, and participation in gangs in a paradigm of risk and protective factors. Researchers stress that it is the accumulation of protective factors that have the most positive effect on teens in the long run. 40 endnotes