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Psychiatric comorbidity among adolescents with substance use disorders: findings from the MECA Study.

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Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.



To investigate the extent to which adolescents in the community with current substance use disorders (SUD) experience co-occurring psychiatric disorders.


Diagnostic data were obtained from probability samples of 401 children and adolescents, aged 14 to 17 years, and their mothers/caretakers, who participated in the Methods for the Epidemiology of Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders (MECA) Study.


The rates of mood and disruptive behavior disorders are much higher among adolescents with current SUD than among adolescents without SUD. Comparison with adult samples suggests that the rates of current comorbidity of SUD with psychiatric disorders are the same among adolescents as adults, and lower for lifetime disruptive disorders/antisocial personality disorder among adolescents than adults.


The high rate of coexisting psychiatric disorders among adolescents with SUD in the community needs to be taken into account in prevention and treatment programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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