Youth With Runaway, Throwaway, and Homeless Experiences: Prevalence, Drug Use, and Other At-Risk Behaviors

This research summary reports on a study that focused on three populations of young people: youth in shelters; street youth; and youth in households. Four areas of focus were prevalence of at-risk behaviors; relationship between substance abuse by youth and substance abuse by their families; proportion of young people exposed to drug prevention efforts and their need for access to health care services; and total number of beds available to young people in youth shelters.

Findings conclude that these youth face challenging family circumstances including: familial substance use; poverty; placement in institutional settings; suicide; throwaway experiences; harsh street realities; difficulty meeting basic needs; substance abuse; victimization; delinquency; unprotected sexual activity; and under-utilization of critical services.

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