Skip 
Navigation Link
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Resources
Basic Information
Introduction to Disorders of ChildhoodIntellectual DisabilitiesMotor Skills DisordersLearning DisordersCommunication DisordersAutism and Pervasive Developmental DisordersADHD and Disruptive Behavior DisordersFeeding and Elimination DisordersAnxiety DisordersReactive Attachment DisorderStereotypic Movement DisorderTic DisordersInfancy, Childhood or Adolescence, Not Otherwise Specified
Latest News
Communication Problems Not at Root of Tantrums in Kids With AutismNo Proof Special Diets, Supplements Work for AutismCould a Century-Old Drug Help Ease Autism Symptoms?Special Diets, Supplements for Autism Still a Question MarkProgram Helps Young Adults With Autism Find JobsTracking Devices May Ease Minds of Parents of Kids With AutismYoung Adults With Autism Need Help Managing Money: StudyAutism Greatly Boosts Kids' Injury Risk, Especially for DrowningCould a Blood Test Spot Autism in Childhood?Delayed Development ID'd in Five Brain Regions of ADHD PatientsExperimental Test Can Spot Autism in InfancyBrain Differences Hint at Why Autism Is More Common in MalesFor Kids, Regular Exercise Seems to Put Depression on the RunMicrobiota Transfer Therapy Could Help Children With AutismKids With ADHD Make 6.1 Million Doctor Visits a Year in U.S.: CDCPhysical Activity Predicts Depression in Middle ChildhoodU.S. Families Spend 1.5 Billion Hours Yearly on Kids With Special Health NeedsDown Syndrome May Not Be Big Financial Burden on FamiliesClinical Antecedents of Adolescent-Onset MDD IdentifiedFew Preschoolers Receiving Tx for Mood, Behavioral DisordersParents Often Miss Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in KidsHomeless, Mentally Ill Youth Benefit From Housing ProgramKids With Bipolar Disorder More Likely to Abuse Drugs, Alcohol: StudyModified Checklist With Follow-Up Valid for Autism in ToddlersMental Illness May Make Teens Vulnerable to Drugs, AlcoholTiming of Autism Diagnosis Tied to Choice of TreatmentHearing Impairment May Be an Early Indicator of AutismEpilepsy, Febrile Seizures in Childhood May Raise ADHD RiskInsurance Mandates Boost U.S. Autism DiagnosesDepression Strikes Nearly 3 Million U.S. Teens a YearGuideline Changes Have Asperger's Community on EdgeHarmless Brain Abnormalities in Kids Pose Disclosure Dilemmas
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Autism
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

Mental Illness May Make Teens Vulnerable to Drugs, Alcohol

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Aug 5th 2016

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who are struggling with mental health disorders are more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and use marijuana, a new Brazilian study suggests.

Researchers reviewed self-reported data from more than 4,000 high school students in Sao Paulo. The teens were between the ages of 15 and 18. They came from 128 public and private schools.

Just under half had clinically significant symptoms of mental health conditions. Another 8 percent had some symptoms, and 44 percent had no symptoms, the study revealed.

During the previous month, 38 percent of teens had used alcohol, 9 percent said they'd used tobacco and 7 percent had used marijuana. When asked about frequent use, 2 percent of teens said they frequently used alcohol, tobacco or marijuana, the study found.

Teens with clinically significant symptoms of mental health problems were more likely to use alcohol, tobacco and marijuana than those without symptoms, the researchers said.

"Studies to determine which specific mental health symptoms are associated with substance use among adolescents in different settings are crucial," said senior study author Dr. Silvia Martins. She is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

"In developing countries such as Brazil where a wide gap of social inequalities is observed, this is particularly important. Mental health policies should focus on these populations, especially since providing early treatment for psychiatric symptoms may have a direct impact on mental health prevalence and its costs among adults," Martins added in a Columbia news release.

The study was published online recently in The American Journal on Addictions.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism outlines how parents can prevent children and teens from drinking.