Alcohol and Drug Misuse, Delinquency, and Health

Authored by: Christopher P. Salas-Wright

Routledge International Handbook of Delinquency and Health

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367256920
eBook ISBN: 9780429289194
Adobe ISBN:


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The objective of the present chapter is to present core principles related to alcohol and other drug (AOD) misuse, delinquency, and health, and to highlight the ways in which drinking, drug use, violence, crime, criminal justice system involvement, health risk behavior, health conditions, and health promotion touch upon one another. To this end, we examine five main points: We begin by examining [1] the substantial body of literature showing that AOD misuse and delinquency are tightly linked. Next, we shift our attention [2] the ways in which drinking and illicit drug use are related to risk for acute and chronic health conditions. Then we [3] consider how together AOD misuse and delinquency are independent, overlapping, and synergistic behaviors that increase risk of adverse health consequences. Subsequently, we show how [4] a biosocial life course perspective can help us understand the complex interplay between AOD misuse, delinquency, and health across the life course. Finally, we conclude by discussing [5] implications for prevention and intervention researchers seeking to foster the healthy development of youth and to short-circuit behavioral and health problems that emerge early on in life.

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