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Friday, May 9, 2014

Teen Depression and Substance Use Disorder

Depression affects the lives of millions of people in the United States and is often overlooked or not taken seriously. Sadly, serious depression left untreated is often the cause of suicides and/or substance use disorders. Depression paralyzes not only adults, but teenagers as well and a new report conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has shown that 10 percent of 16- and 17-year-olds had a major depressive episode in the past year.

The SAMHSA report found:
  • 3 percent of older teens had both a major depressive episode and a substance use disorder.
  • 6.4 percent had any mental illness and a substance use disorder.
  • 1.6 percent had a serious mental illness and a substance use disorder.
Emotional and behavioral health problems fuel the fire of discourse in everyday life, making it difficult to function at school or work. The report found that almost 8 percent of older teens suffering from depression that have a substance use disorder lack a stable home, moving on an average of three or more times in the past year. 13.5 percent of older teens with depression and a substance use disorder have a “D” grade point average.

Teens with serious mental illness coupled with a substance use disorder are less likely to graduate, and are 1.4 times more likely to be unemployed. However, those who receive treatment for mental illness are more likely to graduate high school than those who do not.

“This new report demonstrates the critical need for treatment and other services that focus on older adolescents and young adults with mental and substance use disorders,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release.

Almost 20 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 25, had any mental illness in the past year, and four percent of young adults had a serious mental illness.

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