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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2000 May 1;59(2):131-41.

One-year outcome of adolescent females referred for conduct disorder and substance abuse/dependence.

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  • 1Addiction Research and Treatment Services, Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 4200 E. Ninth Avenue, C268-35, Denver, CO 80262, USA.


We investigated whether substance abuse/dependence, conduct disorder, and other psychiatric disorders improved in adolescent females who were referred to outpatient treatment and which variables were related to 1-year outcome. Forty-six out of 60 conduct-disordered (CD) adolescent females with substance abuse or dependence were re-evaluated approximately 1 year after discharge. Treatment length averaged 16 weeks. Significant improvements were seen in three areas: (1) criminality and CD; (2) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); and (3) educational and vocational status. However, neither substance involvement nor depression improved, regardless of length of stay in treatment, and these females demonstrated significant risky sexual behaviors. In contrast to our previous work with adolescent males (Crowley, T.J., Mikulich, S.K., Macdonald, M., Young, S.E., Zerbe, G.O., 1998. Substance-dependent, conduct-disordered adolescent males: severity of diagnosis predicts 2-year outcome. Drug Alcohol Depend. 49, 225-237), we were not able to identify pre-intake variables, other than performance IQ, that were related to substance use and conduct outcomes. Only two post-treatment factors (peer problems and number of ADHD symptoms at follow-up) were found to be related to CD and substance use disorders outcomes. The overall lack of pre- and post-treatment predictors presents interesting challenges for future research on adolescent females with these disorders.

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