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Underage Drinking and Other Substance Abuse: Opportunities for Prevention and Intervention by Youth Courts (From Selected Topics on Youth Courts: A Monograph, P 25-39, 2004, Tracy Godwin Mullins, ed. -- See NCJ-208164)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2004
15 pages
This paper discusses strategies youth courts can use in working with youth referred to the court for alcohol-related problems, while acting as a partner in a comprehensive community approach for countering under-age drinking and other substance abuse.
Youth courts should screen all cases for substance abuse, regardless of the presenting problem, since this is always a significant issue in problem behaviors. Youth courts must research and develop services and sentencing options that are based on effective program models. Strategies proven effective in dealing with juvenile substance abuse are classes that focus on skill-building and offer youth opportunities to practice the skills they learn; the involvement of parents/family members in youth court actions through education, support groups, and counseling; court involvement in community coalitions that are committed to countering under-age drinking and substance abuse; referral of youth to a peer or adult mentor; placement in an appropriate community service assignment; and the use of case dispositions that emphasize building on the youth's and his/her family's strengths. This paper also identifies those strategies that have not been effective with substance-abusing youth; and it outlines the knowledge and skills professionals should acquire for working with substance-abusing youth. 28 references

Date Published: January 1, 2004