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Psychol Addict Behav. 2004 Jun;18(2):160-9.

Psychiatric comorbidity and substance use treatment outcomes of adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, USA.


Treatment outcomes of 126 adolescents (13-18 years old) with comorbid substance use disorders (SUDs) and Axis I psychiatric disorders (mood, anxiety, conduct, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders) were compared to 81 SUD adolescents with no additional Axis I disorder. Participants completed structured interviews and symptom measures while participating in an adolescent treatment program and at 6 months following treatment. Results indicated that comorbid youth received more treatment during the outcome period; despite this, more comorbid SUD-Axis I disordered adolescents used substances following treatment than SUD-only youth, even after controlling for socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Among comorbid youth, internalizing disordered adolescents were less likely to use substances during the follow-up period, and externalizing disordered youth returned to substance use most rapidly after discharge from treatment.

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