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Journal Article


Vargas-Fernández R, Rojas-Roque C, Santero M, Runzer-Colmenares FM, Figueroa W. Int. J. Adolesc. Med. Health 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and a Minor in Chemistry, Master of Public Health in Community Health, California State University, Long Beach, CA, USA.


(Copyright © 2019, Freund Publishing)






OBJECTIVEs To estimate the prevalence of drug use before admission to juvenile detention centers (JDC) in Peru and determine individual, family and social influences on behavior.

METHODS A cross-sectional analysis was performed using data from the 2016 National Population Census in Juvenile Detention Centers (NPCJDC). A total of 1960 Peruvian adolescent offenders were included. Generalized linear models of the Poisson family with a log link function were used to determine if characteristics before admission to a JDC were associated with drug use. These characteristics included employment, depression, neighborhood gang activity, having friends with a criminal record, a history of multiple admissions to a JDC, a history of running away from home, physical abuse during childhood and family history of drug use and incarceration.

RESULTS More than half of young offenders reported using drugs before entering a JDC (59%) in Peru. The drug most frequently consumed was cannabis (86.6%), followed by cocaine and/or crack (11.6%), and inhalants and/or pills (1.8%). Smoking cigarettes [prevalence ratios (PR): 1.12, p = 0.003], using alcohol (PR: 1.22, p = 0.003), neighborhood gang activity (PR: 1.28, p < 0.001), having friends with a criminal record (PR: 1.62, p < 0.001), running away from home (PR: 1.20, p < 0.001) and a family history of incarceration (PR: 1.09, p = 0.010) were associated with drug use prior to admission to a JDC.

CONCLUSION Drug use before admission to a JDC was high among young offenders in Peru, with marijuana being the drug most frequently used. Having friends with a criminal record and neighborhood gang activity had the greatest association with drug use in young offenders.

Keywords: Juvenile justice

Language: en


Peru (source: MeSH NLM); adolescent; drugs users; juvenile delinquency; risk factors; street drugs


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