November 17, 2004

Substance abuse and Bipolar Disorder

A new study published in the November issue of the "Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry" suggests that the risk of substance abuse (called by the researchers "substance use disorder") -- ie. use of street drugs -- is significantly higher in adolescents with bipolar disorder.

The research report states:

"The finding that adolescents with BPD are at higher risk of substance abuse than comparison youths without mood disorders has important clinical implications. The identification of BPD associated with substance abuse is important because BPD is among the most severe forms of psychopathology in youths and if treated may result in a reduced risk of substance abuse. For example, a controlled trial demonstrated that lithium treatment resulted in both significant reductions in substance use and improvement in global functioning in adolescents with comorbid BPD and substance abuse (Geller et al., 1998). The long-term outcome of treated youths with BPD and later substance abuse remains to be seen.

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
November 1, 2004
SECTION: No. 11, Vol. 43; Pg. 1380; ISSN: 0890-8567

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