What are the most common co-occurring diagnoses for adolescents with substance use disorders? How are these co-occurring diagnoses different from an adult? Why is it important to know the difference between the two? Common Co-Occurring Diagnoses for Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders

Common Co-Occurring Diagnoses for Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders

When diagnosing adolescents with substance use disorders, it is common for clinicians to identify co-occurring mental health diagnoses. The most common co-occurring mental health diagnoses for adolescents with substance use disorders are depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Vega-Lahr, 2019). These diagnoses are often different from the co-occurring mental health diagnoses found in adults with substance use disorders, which can include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders (Vega-Lahr, 2019). It is important for clinicians to understand the difference between adolescent and adult co-occurring diagnoses because the treatments for mental health conditions can differ from age group to age group. For example, while adults may benefit from talk therapy, adolescents may need more creative interventions that can help them cope with their struggles. Additionally, the treatments for substance use disorder can differ based on age, as adolescents may need more intensive interventions than adults. Knowing the difference between the two age groups can help clinicians develop more effective treatment plans for adolescents with substance use disorders.  Cont…

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