Adolescent Substance Abuse and Psychiatric Comorbidities
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(7):e02
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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The use and abuse of substances—including
alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, inhalants, and other drugs—are commonly found to
be comorbid with psychiatric conditions in adolescents. This dual diagnosis
requires special attention and treatment, especially as substance use often
begins during this developmental period. Adolescents may be diagnosed with
substance abuse, substance dependence, or substance use disorder not otherwise
specified, which indicates a developing substance use problem that includes
symptoms of but does not meet criteria for substance dependence. Psychiatric
comorbidity in adolescents who abuse substances is the rule rather the
exception, and common comorbidities include depression, anxiety, bipolar
disorder, conduct disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Treatment of the psychiatric disorder often helps to alleviate the substance
use disorder as well. This activity discusses the epidemiology, assessment, and
treatment of this dual diagnosis.
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