Page 18 - OCT2023
P. 18

                Page 18 NEWFOUNDLAKELIFE.COM October 2023 CommunityMental Health and Substance Use Disorders
 contRiButeD By: communities foR alcohol anD DRug-fRee youth (caDy)
Many individuals who develop substance use disorders (SUD) are also diagnosed with mental disorders, and vice versa, referred to as co-occurring disorders. Al- though there are fewer studies on comorbidity among youth, re- search suggests that adolescents with substance use disorders also have high rates of co-occurring mental illness.
Data show high rates of co- morbid substance use disorders and anxiety disorders—which include generalized anxiety disor- der, panic disorder, and post-trau- matic stress disorder. Substance use disorders also co-occur at high prevalence with mental dis-
orders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), psychotic illness, borderline per- sonality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. Patients with schizophrenia have higher rates of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use disorders than the general popu- lation. Around 1 in 4 individuals with serious mental illness also have a substance use disorder.
Although drug use and ad- diction can happen at any time during a person’s life, drug use typically starts in adolescence, a period when the first signs of mental illness commonly appear. Comorbid disorders can also be seen among youth. During the transition to young adulthood (age 18 to 25 years), people with comorbid disorders need coordi-
nated support to help them nav- igate potentially stressful changes in education, work, and relation- ships.
The brain continues to de- velop through adolescence. Circuits that control executive functions such as decision mak- ing and impulse control are among the last to mature, which increases vulnerability to drug use and the development of a sub- stance use disorder. Early drug use is a strong risk factor for later development of substance use disorders, and it may also be a risk factor for the later occurrence of other mental illnesses. How- ever, this link is not necessarily causative and may reflect shared risk factors including genetic vulnerability, psychosocial expe- riences, and/or general environ- mental influences. For example, frequent marijuana use during adolescence can increase the risk of psychosis in adulthood, specif- ically in individuals who carry a
particular gene variant.
Having a mental disorder in
childhood or adolescence can also increase the risk of later drug use and the development of a substance use disorder. Some re- search has found that mental ill- ness may precede a substance use disorder, suggesting that better diagnosis of youth mental illness may help reduce comorbidity. One study found that adoles- cent-onset bipolar disorder con- fers a greater risk of subsequent substance use disorder compared to adult-onset bipolar disorder. Similarly, other research suggests that youth develop internalizing disorders, including depression and anxiety, prior to developing substance use disorders.
Numerous studies have doc- umented an increased risk for substance use disorders in youth with untreated ADHD, although some studies suggest that only those with comorbid conduct dis- orders have greater odds of later
developing a substance use dis- order. That risk presents a chal- lenge when treating children with ADHD, since effective treatment often involves prescribing stimu- lant medications with addictive potential. Although the research is not yet conclusive, many stud- ies suggest that ADHD medica- tions do not increase the risk of substance use disorder among children with this condition. It is important to combine stimu- lant medication for ADHD with appropriate family and child education and behavioral inter- ventions, including counseling on the chronic nature of ADHD and risk for substance use disorder.
For more information about mental health and substance use disorders, visit our website at If you, or some- one you know, struggles with substance misuse or addiction, please call 2-1-1 or the Doorway at (603-934-8905) for help. To learn about prevention, treat- ment, and recovery resources in Central NH, visit Findwell NH at
Early drug use is a strong risk factor
for later development of substance
use disorders and it may be a risk
factor for the later occurrence of
other mental illnesses.
  For more information, visit: CADYINC.ORG
    Published Monthly Mailed FREE to the Communities of Bristol, Alexandria, Hebron, Bridgewater and Plymouth Circulation: 10,000 copies
20 Lake St, Bristol, NH 03222
Dawna Shackley
Advertising Sales Manager
Lori Koller 508-934-9608 lakelifesales@
Brittany Amalfi
Contributing Writers
Donna Rhodes Michael Conley William Nieman
Newfound Lake Life assumes no financial liability for errors or
omissions in printed advertising and reserves the right to reject/edit advertising or editorial submissions.
© Copyright 2020 Newfound Lakel Life
 Rifles • Shotguns • Pistols • Ammunition
Optics and all Accessessories
Shay Littlefield
65 Pleasant Street
Plymouth, NH 03264
 Plan now for your projects
 • Landscape Construction • Patios and Driveways
• Hardscapes
• Walkways and Steps
• Landscape Design
Call for a free estimate
Golden Leaf Landscapes

   16   17   18   19   20