Objectives. To examine sex and racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of 9 substance-use disorders (SUDs) - alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogen or PCP, opiate, amphetamine, inhalant, sedative, and unspecified drug - in youths during the 12 years after detention. Methods. We used data from the Northwestern Juvenile Project, a prospective longitudinal study of 1829 youths randomly sampled from detention in Chicago, Illinois, starting in 1995 and re-interviewed up to 9 times in the community or correctional facilities through 2011. Independent interviewers assessed SUDs with Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children 2.3 (baseline) and Diagnostic Interview Schedule version IV (follow-ups). Results. By median age 28 years, 91.3% of males and 78.5% of females had ever had an SUD. At most follow-ups, males had greater odds of alcohol- and marijuana-use disorders. Drug-use disorders were most prevalent among non-Hispanic Whites, followed by Hispanics, then African Americans (e.g., compared with African Americans, non-Hispanic Whites had 32.1 times the odds of cocaine-use disorder [95% confidence interval = 13.8, 74.7]). Conclusions. After detention, SUDs differed markedly by sex, race/ethnicity, and substance abused, and, contrary to stereotypes, did not disproportionately affect African Americans. Services to treat substance abuse - during incarceration and after release - would reach many people in need, and address health disparities in a highly vulnerable population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health