Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



February 2011

Juvenile Drug Abuse in Arkansas on the Rise

by Staff, on abuse, Arkansas, drug, juvenile, substance, teen

Juvenile drug abuse is growing more common nowadays as increasing numbers of teens gain access to different street drugs. Anytime a new drug hits the streets, its popularity soars, and we find ourselves fighting against it. At the same time, drugs that have been around for years sometimes rise sharply and unexpectedly in popularity.

Results of a 2006 survey of public school students throughout Arkansas indicate that approximately 11% of 8th graders reported using marijuana at some point in their lives.
Approximately 35% of Arkansas 12th graders surveyed in 2006 reported using marijuana at least once in their lives.

Additional survey results indicate that 0.92% of 6th graders, 3.18% of 8th graders, 7.75% of 10th graders and 9.93% of 12th graders reported selling illegal drugs at least once in their lives.
According to 2004-2005 NSDUH data, nearly 14% of Arkansas 12-17 year olds reported past year marijuana use.

Juvenile drug  abuse is a great concern in Arkansas. Based on annual average of data collected 2005 - 2006 by the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health for the state of Arkansas, there were 15,000 youth ages 12 - 17 years that needed treatment for illicit drug use but did not receive it. This study also reported that approximately 20,000 persons in this same age group experienced at least one major depressive episode within that year.
To address these matters, a partnership emerged among court officials, OADAP and treatment services providers for the concept of treatment-oriented drug courts (commonly referred to as drug courts). While there are similarities, there are also fundamental differences in Arkansas are somewhat new and in many instances, they are developmental.

These services are available in ten different judicial districts. Services are provided by contacted, licensed providers. These contracts are awarded via competitive bid process. Juveniles admitted to the Juvenile Drug Court program are provided a number of services including, outpatient, case management, and random urine analysis.

In 2004, the statewide number of delinquent referrals to juvenile court was about 35,000, Wahl says.
In 2008, that number dropped to about 33,000, following a downward trend that began in 2006.
But now that trend is reversing. About 34,000 Arkansas young people were referred to the juvenile court system in 2009.

These numbers reflect the juvenile drug abuse and alcohol problem Arkansas is experiencing. One of the best ways to stop this problem is to get the person away from the scene, where they can relapse. Staff