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Adolescents With Co-occurring Disorders

by James Heller 6. May 2009 14:21
May, 2009 is National Mental Health Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about mental health issues as related to substance abuse, dependence and alcohol and drug treatment.  A growing percentage of alcohol and drug treatment admissions include co-occurring mental health disorders.  Special care is needed to ensure recovery for these patients, as is provided at Tarzana Treatment Centers.

Adolescents with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders have an opportunity to live normal lives in recovery if they seek treatment.  But parents must first know when alcohol or drug treatment is needed and where to get it.  Tarzana Treatment Centers specializes in alcohol and drug treatment, along with integrated behavioral healthcare to treat co-occurring mental health disorders.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides some good information on when a teen is more likely to be using alcohol or drugs.  Below is a section of an informative report that can be helpful for parents of adolescents with behavioral issues.  The full report is more detailed.

-- Begin external content --

Emotional Problems and Alcohol or Illicit Drug Dependence

The severity of emotional problems is associated with increased likelihood of adolescent alcohol or illicit drug dependence. Adolescents with significant emotional problems were nearly four times as likely to report dependence as were those with low emotional problem scores. Alcohol or illicit drug dependence was reported by approximately 3 percent of adolescents with low emotional problem scores, by 7 percent of those with intermediate problem scores, and by 13 percent with significant emotional problems. Within specific age groups, the prevalence of dependence was consistently higher for adolescents with more serious emotional problems, with the exception of adolescent males aged 12 to 13. Older adolescents with serious emotional problems had the highest rates of dependence on alcohol or illicit drugs: 23 percent for males 19 percent for females. The corresponding rates for younger adolescents aged 12 to 13 were 3 percent for males and 9 percent for females.

Behavioral Problems and Alcohol or Illicit Drug Dependence

The severity of behavioral problems is associated with increased likelihood of alcohol or illicit drug dependence. Adolescents with significant behavioral problems were over seven times more likely to report dependence than those with low behavioral problem scores. Alcohol or illicit drug dependence was reported by approximately 2 percent of adolescents with low behavioral problem scores, by 6 percent of those with intermediate problem scores, and by 17 percent of those with significant behavioral problems.

Within specific age groups, dependence increased with the severity of behavioral problems. This pattern was observed among both males and females for very young adolescents aged 12 to 13, for adolescents aged 14 to 15, and for older adolescents aged 16 to 17. Dependence on alcohol or illicit drugs was highest among older adolescents aged 16 to 17 with serious behavioral problems (26 percent). The corresponding rates for very young adolescents aged 12 to 13 were 4 percent for males and 9 percent for females.

-- Source: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NHSDA/A-9/comorb3c-38.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.