Substance use and depression. Comparative course in adolescents

Chinet, Léonie ; Plancherel, Bernard ; Bolognini, Monique ; Bernard, Mathieu ; Laget, Jacques ; Daniele, Giusi ; Halfon, Olivier

In: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2006, vol. 15, no. 3, p. 149-155

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    Objective: To examine the relation between depression and substance use in adolescents and the concomitant courses of both disorders. Methods: Four individual interviews were administered to 85 adolescent substance users aged 14-19 years (mean 17.1 years, SD 1.4) over a 3.5 year period using the Adolescent Drug Abuse Interview (ADAD) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-13). Results: No predictive effect was observed on one dimension over the other, but each dimension was predictive of its own course. A decrease in substance-use severity paralleled a decrease in depressive state. Similarly, stable substance-use rates, either at a low or a high level, tended to be associated with low or high levels of depression, respectively. However, an increase in substance use was not accompanied by an increase in depressive states. Moreover, depression varied greatly between adolescents, and according to gender and age. Conclusions: Depressive states and substance use in adolescents can vary considerably overtime, and are closely but rather synchronically related. Since most of the adolescents do not seek help for substance-related problems, substance use should be systematically assessed in adolescents presenting with a depressive state