BACKGROUND: The drug abuse has become one of social problems especially in the adolescents. It has been well known that the drug abuse is concerned with interaction of biopsychosocial factors and farnily relation factors. So I have studied the general characteristics and rearing attitude and family state of the adolesents who were in a jail because of drug abuse and have intended to give some help for establishing effective strategies for family education and therapy. METHODS: The study was done for adolescents who were in a jail because of violation the illegal drug control law. The group was total 55 men and the age distribution was frorn 15 to 20 years. The Questionnaire was used in Mar 1996 for study and I analyzed 53 cases excluding 2 cases because they were nearly illiterate. The FACES III(Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales), family APGAR score and PBI(Parental Bonding Instrument) were used for evaluating the characteristics of family function and the parental rearing attitude. Statistical management with SAS was executed for data analysis. RESULTS: The average age of the group was 6.9+/-1.4. 48.1% of them lived in the metropolitan area, 40.4% lived in the middle-sized cities and 11.5% lived in the small country towns. The education level of 91.8% was under middle-school graduate. They have use drugs since the age of 14.6+/-1.8, they began to use glue sniffing at the first time in 78.8% and butane gas inhalation in 17.3%. The state of family showed the death of father in 28.9% and the death of mother in 13.5 % and 76.9% of deaths occured before they have become 13 years. Their parents divorced in 25 %. The mean APGAR score was 4.56+/-2.6, which means moderately dysfunctional state of family. In FACES III adaptability score was 20.3+/-5.7 and cohesion score was 26.2+/-6.9. According to the family type by FACES III, there were 5 cases(9.4%) in balanced, 19 cases(35.9%) in midrange, and 29 cases(54.7%) in extreme. In PBI mother overprotection score was 16.24+/-4.59, mother care score was 22.5+6.8, father overprotection score was 16.71+/-5.1 father care was 21.94+/-6.24. CONCLUSIONS: The drug abused adolescents in a jail were in hadicapped family because of deaths and divorce of parents. Their family function score was low and more than half of them had the extreme type of family. Therefore it is wise for us to have a concern for the family problem when understanding and managing drug abused adolescents.