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What are the Links Between Mental Health Issues and Teen Substance Use?

teens-mental-health-issuesSubstance use is a recurring problem among large numbers of U.S. teens and younger children. Substance abuse experts and mental health professionals know that, broadly speaking, the presence of certain psychiatric problems increases the likelihood that people in these age groups will start drinking or taking drugs. In a study published in December 2013 in the journal Addiction, researchers from two U.S. universities examined the connection between three specific psychiatric problems — conduct disorder, depression and anxiety — and the onset of substance use among teenagers, preteens and younger kids. The researchers also looked at how the specific timing of these problems affects the risks for substance use.

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