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Hair Assays and Urinalysis for Drugs of Abuse Among Juvenile Offenders: A Comparison of Two Cities Based Upon the Drug Use Forecasting Program Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
800 pages
Data from juveniles in detention facilities in Cleveland and Pinellas County (Fla.) formed the basis of an analysis of the use of hair analysis, urinalysis, and survey data collected in personal interviews to determine the prevalence of drug use among these arrestees and detainees.
Each site used convenience samples of volunteers and followed the Drug Use Forecasting protocol. The participants included 185 juveniles in Cleveland and 241 juveniles in Pinellas County. The Florida site accepted all referrals, while the Cleveland site accepted only those apprehended less than 48 hours prior to interviewing. Results were generally consistent with the general patterns previously revealed in research on bioassays versus self-reports. The bioassays revealed more drug use than the survey interviews did, especially in Cleveland. This finding was generally true across all drugs, but was most pronounced for cocaine. Hair analysis revealed more cocaine prevalence than did urinalysis; the results for cocaine were mixed. Findings indicated that these juveniles were reluctant to report their drug use accurately, especially for cocaine. Hair analysis appears to be readily implemented in field settings, but very short hair styles may impede simple implementation. Finally, the youth in both sites have high measures of both drug abuse risk and personal adjustment problems. Tables and study instruments

Date Published: January 1, 1996