|Basic InformationLatest News|Physical Activity Predicts Depression in Middle ChildhoodU.S. Families Spend 1.5 Billion Hours Yearly on Kids With Special Health NeedsDown Syndrome May Not Be Big Financial Burden on FamiliesClinical Antecedents of Adolescent-Onset MDD IdentifiedFew Preschoolers Receiving Tx for Mood, Behavioral DisordersParents Often Miss Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in KidsHomeless, Mentally Ill Youth Benefit From Housing ProgramKids With Bipolar Disorder More Likely to Abuse Drugs, Alcohol: StudyModified Checklist With Follow-Up Valid for Autism in ToddlersMental Illness May Make Teens Vulnerable to Drugs, AlcoholTiming of Autism Diagnosis Tied to Choice of TreatmentHearing Impairment May Be an Early Indicator of AutismEpilepsy, Febrile Seizures in Childhood May Raise ADHD RiskInsurance Mandates Boost U.S. Autism DiagnosesDepression Strikes Nearly 3 Million U.S. Teens a YearSound Sleep Elusive for Many Kids With ADHDGenetic Insights May Help Kids Battling Developmental DelaysADHD Can First Appear in Young Adulthood for Some, Study SuggestsBaby's Immune System Might Hint at Autism RiskFor ADHD, Start With Behavior Therapy, Not Drugs: CDCAutism Diagnosed at Younger Ages'Wandering' a Hazard for More Than a Third of Kids With AutismTalk Therapy May Help Depressed Teens Who Shun AntidepressantsDepression More Common in Kids Who Join Gangs, Study FindsTracking Kids' Eye Movements Might Shed New Light on AutismChild Mental Health Care Varies Widely in Primary Care SettingsU.S. Autism Rate Unchanged at 1 in 68 Kids: CDCHealth Tip: Watch for Mental Health 'Red Flags' in KidsHow to Tell If Your Teen Has a Mental Health ProblemTroubled Kids' Psychiatric Care Often Delayed by Insurance RulesMost Families Cherish a Child With Down Syndrome, Survey FindsPsychological Disorders Affect 1 in 7 U.S. Kids Under 9: CDCADHD Meds Tied to Lower Bone Density in KidsFidgeting May Help Students With ADHD LearnHealth Tip: Supporting a Child Who Struggles With AnxietyCould Adults' Expectations Drive Up ADHD Diagnoses in Kids?Kids With Autism More Likely to Wander, Less Likely to Recognize DangerDoctors Should Screen Teens for Major Depression, U.S. Task Force SaysGuideline Changes Have Asperger's Community on EdgeHarmless Brain Abnormalities in Kids Pose Disclosure DilemmasQuestions and AnswersLinks
Kids With Bipolar Disorder More Likely to Abuse Drugs, Alcohol: Study
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Sep 16th 2016
FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For some teens with bipolar disorder, the risk that they will abuse alcohol and drugs may increase as they get older, a new study suggests.
The research included 105 young people with bipolar disorder and 98 without the illness (the "control" group). Their average age was 14 when they first enrolled in the study. Bipolar disorder causes unusual shifts in mood, energy and activity levels, and also affects the ability to carry out everyday tasks.
Initially, 34 percent of the young teens with bipolar disorder also had "substance use disorder," which means they had a problem with drug or alcohol abuse. Only 4 percent of the kids in the control group abused alcohol or drugs, the study showed.
In addition, the researchers found, almost one-quarter of kids with bipolar disorder smoked cigarettes, compared to just 4 percent of the comparison group.
Five years after the initial study, the investigators followed up with 68 of the original bipolar patients and 81 members of the control group. Among these participants, almost half of those with bipolar disorder had substance use disorder. Only 26 percent of those without the mental health disorder had trouble with drugs or drinking, the study revealed.
The risk was particularly high for people with persistent bipolar symptoms, the study authors said.
Dr. Timothy Wilens was the study's lead researcher. He's chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston. He explained that bipolar disorder symptoms usually show up before kids start using drugs, cigarettes or alcohol.
That means health-care professionals who treat children with bipolar disorder should also look for signs of substance abuse or cigarette smoking, Wilens said in a hospital news release.
The study also looked at the combination of bipolar disorder and conduct disorder. Conduct disorder is a condition characterized by defiant, impulsive and possibly criminal behavior, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. When the two disorders were combined, the risk of smoking and alcohol and drug abuse was even greater, the study found.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), however, didn't seem to have an impact on the risk of drug and alcohol abuse in people with bipolar disorder.
"We were surprised to find that conduct disorder, but not ADHD, played such a large role in [increasing the risk] of substance use disorder," Wilens said.
He said it's possible that conduct disorder is at the root of the drinking and drug use as teens with bipolar disorder become young adults.
Findings from the study were published recently in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on bipolar disorder.
This article: Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.