Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Substance use and conduct disorders are common among arrested North American Indigenous youth and increase their likelihood of arrest


In North America, substance misuse is very common among young people involved with the juvenile justice system, and even more so among American Indian and Canadian First Nations youth. In new research, Kelley J. Sittner examines the relationship between substance use disorder and other mental disorders such as conduct disorder and ADHD among indigenous young people. She finds that the rates of conduct disorder and substance use disorder were almost twice as large among the arrested than non-arrested adolescents, and that those young people with such disorders were three or four times more likely to be arrested than those without.

In the United States and Canada, mental and substance use disorders are very common among adolescents involved with the juvenile justice systems). According to a 2006 report, about 70 percent of the youth in the juvenile justice systems of three US states met the criteria for a mental or substance use disorder, and there were high rates of young people with two or more disorders. This is true of justice-involved youth in general, regardless of their racial or ethnic backgrounds.


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