Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adolescents suffering from depression more likely to start drinking alcohol

A new report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reveals that 8.2% of children aged 12 to 17 experienced at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. Only 39% of these adolescents received treatment during this period.

An MDE is defined as a period of 2 weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure and at least 4 other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, including problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-image.

Among treated adolescents:
-- 58.8% saw or spoke to with a counselor;
-- 36.8% saw or spoke with a psychologist;
-- 27.3% saw or spoke with a psychiatrist or psychotherapist;
-- 26.6% saw or spoke with a general practitioner or family doctor.

When it comes to underage drinking . . .

Among youth who had previously not used alcohol, 29% of those with a MDE initiated alcohol use compared with 14% who had not experienced a MDE within the past year.

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