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San Diego girls abuse drugs more than boys

Teenage girls in San Diego County are more likely to abuse drugs than boys in the same age group in the area, according to a report by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). The group reached their conclusion by analyzing the substance abuse records of youth in the county’s juvenile detention centers.

As part of the study, 124 youth were interviewed at juvenile centers in March and September of 2012. Among them, 120 detainees (95 male, 25 female) provided a urine sample for drug-testing purposes. The researchers found that girls were significantly more likely than boys to have used methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD and spice.

The analysis by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division also includes results of urinalysis trends over time, as well as information pertaining to self-reported drug and alcohol use. Youth were also questioned about how their home lives and relationship with their families may have influenced their substance abuse. According to the survey girls reported more underlying issues such as mental health struggles, victimization and abuse in the home.

“These trends we are seeing speak to the importance of having gender-appropriate intervention and prevention programs to address the underlying needs of girls,” said Cynthia Burke, SANDAG’s director of criminal-justice research, in a statement.

The SANDAG report stresses the need for parents and other adult figures to play a positive role in the lives of teens. Parents with a troubled teen should explore how youth intervention services can help their families. Contact Intervention Services today to learn how an experienced profession can help you and your child get out of a difficult situation.

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