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Juvenile drug crimes are a serious problem in North Dakota

Dealing with the fallout of a drug arrest can be quite overwhelming for the average adult in North Dakota. However, a recent study highlights that drug crimes are not a problem isolated to adults. North Dakota has the third highest rate of arrests for juvenile drug offenses. While some people might be quick to brush these arrests off as matters of youthful indiscretion, what happens to these young boys and girls can have long-term consequences.

In 2017, there were approximately 27 drug violations for every 10,000 children in the state. This figure comes from research conducted by the Greenhouse Treatment Center, which is located in another state. The research also found that while the ratio of juvenile drug arrests was the third highest in the United States, the actual number of arrests was actually relatively low. There were 476 juvenile drug arrests in 2017.

However, that number might not stay low for very long. In 2008, there were only 278 arrests for drug violations by juveniles. This means that there was a 70% increase in arrests between 2008 and 2017. Experts in behavioral health caution that criminal consequences may not be the most effective approach for children wrestling with drug abuse. These health professionals point out that juvenile drug abuse is most often linked to issues with behavioral health and not to issues of criminality.

Combating drug crimes charges is important for all defendants in North Dakota, but especially for juveniles. These young teenagers often do not fully understand the potential consequences that could lay before them, or how one minor decision could impact the course of their lives. Timely action and a vigorous criminal defense plan are often appropriate choices for these young defendants.

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Dusek Law
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