Information on Alcohol and Drugs

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly all substance abusing individuals believe that they can stop using drugs on their own, and most try to stop without treatment. Although some people are successful, research has shown that long-term drug abuse results in changes in the brain that persist long after a person stops using drugs. These drug-induced changes can have many behavioral consequences, including an inability to exert control over the impulse to use drugs despite negative consequences- the defining characteristic of addiction.

It is the goal of the Court to recognize substance related issues and differentiate between use, abuse, and dependence. In addition, identification of an appropriate level of care is critical in intervening and preventing future use. Levels of care utilized by the Court range from short-term interventions to long-term inpatient programs. The goals of treatment include stopping substance abuse, as well as guiding adolescents toward positive, pro-social lifestyles where they can be productive and functioning members of families, schools, and communities. According to research that tracks individuals in treatment over extended periods, most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning. Individual treatment outcomes depend on the extent and nature of the adolescent's problems, the appropriateness of treatment and related services used to address those problems, and the quality of interaction between the adolescent and his/her treatment providers.

Recommended Resources

Parents. The Anti Drug (http://www.theantidrug.com)

National Institute of Drug Abuse (http://www.nida.nih.gov/NIDAHome.html)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (http://www.samhsa.gov)

Alcoholics Anonymous (http://www.aa.org/lang/en/meeting_finder.cfm?origpage=29)

Narcotic Anonymous (http://na.org/index.php?ID=home-content-fm)

Al-Anon / Alateen (http://www.al-anon.alateen.org)