Young offenders 30 times more likely to need drug, alcohol services than peers

A breakdown of data from individual states was not available in the report.

Data from the Northern Territory was excluded altogether because of problems with obtaining nationally-consistent, compliant data — a shortcoming the study’s authors said should be addressed in the future.

The report also found 33 per cent of young people in the youth justice system received an AOD treatment at least once, compared with just 1 per cent in the non-offending peer population.

Young offenders were also 50 times more likely to be treated for amphetamine misuse, 33 times more likely to be treated for cannabis misuse and 27 times more likely to be treated for alcohol abuse, compared with their non-offending young peers.

Young males and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were over-represented in the study cohort.

Indigenous young people were found to be 14 times as likely to have received youth justice supervision and AOD treatment services as their non-indigenous peers.

Of the 11,981 young people who received an AOD treatment, those who were abusing solvents or amphetamines were the most likely to have also been in the youth justice system.

The report’s authors called on states and territories to do more work to address the high overlap between the two sectors.

“A high level of overlap of clients between the [AOD and youth justice] sectors might indicate a need for more integrated services … to reduce future reliance on health and welfare services, and improve outcomes for young people.”

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