U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Bureau of Justice Statistics Releases Report on Drug and Alcohol Use in Juvenile Facilities

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has released Drug and Alcohol Use Reported by Youth in Juvenile Facilities, 2008–2018 – Statistical Tables. This report describes patterns of drug and alcohol use among youth in juvenile facilities before they entered custody. It also provides findings on substance and alcohol use disorder among youth by their demographic and offense characteristics.

Key findings include:

  • An estimated 84 percent of youth in juvenile facilities reported ever using drugs and 76 percent reported ever using alcohol, according to data collected in 2008–09, 2012, and 2018.
  • More youth in juvenile facilities reported never using drugs or alcohol in their lifetime in 2018 (15 percent) than in 2008–09 (9 percent).
  • From 2008 to 2018, more than half of youth (60 percent) met the criteria for substance use disorder and more than a third (36 percent) for alcohol use disorder.

View Report


  • View OJJDP's Model Programs Guide for information about evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and substance abuse prevention programs.
  • Follow OJJDP on Twitter and Facebook.
Date Published: August 7, 2023