Working as a substance abuse counselor within the criminal justice field on youth gang members. It has been observed that substance abuse and other psycho-social problems have peaked within them in recent years.OUTLINEYouth gangs and substance abuse have long been identified as prejudicial to both youth and to societal progress and prosperity. In the pursuit of putting an end to these social evils, immediate steps and efforts need to be focused on programs fostering today’s youth towards a healthy life both physically and socially.The topic is of both personal and professional interest for me because I have worked as a counselor in the criminal justice field over the course of the last few years. I got to interact with youth gang members having substance abuse issues and other problem behaviors. This is how I got intrigued by this field and realized the need to establish a strong foundation in preventing substance abuse in youth.ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHYJames C. Howell., amp. Scott H. Decker. (1999, Jan). The Youth Gangs, Drugs and Violence Connection. Retrieved from: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/93920.pdf In this study, the researchers studied the association between the youth gangs and their drug usage and trafficking and also to violence and criminal activities. In relevance to the thesis statement, the report shows a recent peak in the consumption of drugs by the youth esp. the youth gang members when compared to non-gang member youth and its negative impact on the society in the form of violent crimes. ESSAYYouth has always been taken as an asset for a community but baneful activities such as substance abuse make them detrimental for society and more of a liability. Considering today’s exceptionally large need of man-power for a country’s progress, economic growth and industrial development special attention need to be paid to youth development, empowerment and right social and moral upbringing. With the above consideration and also the intention to make the society a better place to live and free of heinous crimes the society needs to take immediate actions against these growing negative trends amongst the youth but in a positive way. The solution lies in training, civilizing and developing the youth on the pattern which makes them a contributor and an asset for the community and not in just hazing the youth gangs. A better youth and a society free of gang division and violence will guarantee a better and prosperous future.