News

Study Highlights Mental Health, Substance Use Links in Young People

Photo Courtesy of JewdiniA new Australian study found on average teens receiving mental health treatment start using marijuana, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol at age 15. The report was published in British Medical Journal Open.

Researchers from the University of Sydney’s Brain & Mind Research Institute collected the data of more than 2,000 subjects ages 12 to 30 in a cross-sectional study. Subjects were then broken into three age group categories: adolescents and teenagers (respondents ages 12 to 17), older teens (18- and 19-year-olds) and young adults (ages 20 to 30).

Among the youngest age group, 12 percent of respondents reported weekly use of alcohol, while approximately 7 percent reported weekly marijuana use. Almost a quarter of respondents in the age group reported daily nicotine use.

Older teens aged 18 and 19 reported weekly alcohol and marijuana use at rates of 39 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Researchers said about 36 percent of the subjects in the study were habitual nicotine users.

Young adults were found to have the highest usage rates of all three substances. Approximately 45 percent of 20 to 30 year old respondents reported weekly drinking — almost one-fifth of subjects reported weekly marijuana use. More than 20 percent of respondents in the age group were daily nicotine users, according to the study.

Older male subjects with psychotic or bipolar disorders were found to be more likely to engage in use of any of the three drugs, the researchers found.

In an University of Sydney press release, lead report author Dr. Daniel Hermens said the study indicates a need to better integrate substance use and mental health interventions when treating young people.

“There is a lot of evidence for the co-morbidity of mental health problems and substance misuse,” he said. “More people have both mental health and substance use problems than either alone — in other words, it’s a rule rather than the exception.”

Photo by Jewdini | Flickr.com

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Archives

Categories

Recent Comments

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top