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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1996 Dec;35(12):1593-601.

Substance abuse treatment of American Indian adolescents: comorbid symptomatology, gender differences, and treatment patterns.

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1
National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80220, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the patient population and use of mental health treatment at a residential substance abuse treatment program for American Indian and Alaska Native adolescents. Specifically, this article (1) reports the level of psychiatric symptomatology among the patient population; (2) compares male and female patients in terms of demographics, symptomatology, and receipt of mental health treatment; and (3) examines the degree of association between patient psychiatric symptomatology and the receipt of mental health treatment.

METHOD:

Medical records were reviewed for all 64 patients admitted over a 1-year period. Data included patient characteristics such as substance use and psychiatric symptomatology as well as the receipt of mental health treatment.

RESULTS:

Sixty-eight percent of patients screened positive for at least one psychiatric symptom type. Females reported greater substance use and were more likely to report that they were victims of abuse. Females also were more likely than males to receive mental health treatment even though males had at least equal need. Finally, there was no significant relationship between measures of psychopathology and subsequent receipt of mental health treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Reassessment of the methods for identifying and treating patients with comorbid psychopathology within programs of this nature is indicated.

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