Juvenile substance use and effects of substance use disorder on incarceration and grade retention in a sample referred for court clinic mental health evaluation
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A significant amount of adolescents are involved in the drug court system. Within a few of the systems are mental health clinics providing more specific services to youth introduced into the courts. At the Rhode Island Family Court, juveniles are referred for full mental health evaluations in the court mental health clinic. They are then referred for other services depending on the outcome of the evaluation. The purpose of this study is to provide a descriptive analysis of the drug use of these youth referred to the mental health clinic. Because little is known about the about the affects of a substance use disorder diagnosis on incarceration and grade repetition, an analysis was done to determine if any associations were present. After accounting for mental health diagnosis and demographic variables, an association between substance use disorder and incarceration within 3 months of the mental health evaluation was found. There was no significant association between a substance use disorder diagnosis and grade repetition in school.