Rates of DSM-IV Substance Use Disorders in a Sample of Adjudicated Youth

Sabrina Hooks, Univ. of Colorado Health Sciences Ctr
Christian Hopfer, Univ. of Colorado Health Sciences Ctr

Purpose: We report lifetime rates of DSM-IV Substance Use Disorder (SUD) among adjudicated juveniles.

Methods: Youth's identified through court records as being adjudicated and their families were contacted to ask about willingness to participate in a family study of substance use and conduct disorder. The Proband and family members were interviewed with an assessment battery of structured psychiatric interview instruments at their home or place of residence. Incarcerated youth were excluded from the protocol. DSM-IV abuse or dependence symptoms for 9 substances were assessed for the past year and lifetime with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview - Substance Abuse Module. Subjects who met criteria for either abuse or dependence were classified as having a substance use disorder, those meeting only the stricter criteria for dependence were classified as having dependence. Eighty-seven families have completed interviews.

Findings: Rates of DSM-IV lifetime SUD/Dependence are: Tobacco 55%/55%, Alcohol 56%/27%, Marijuana 50%/28%, Hallucinogens 15%/9%, Cocoaine 8%/6%, Amphetamines 7%/5%. Rates of SUD or dependence on opiates, sedatives, or inhalants were all below 2%.

Singificance: These findings are similar to reports from other groups using structured psychiatric instruments. Hallucinogen SUD or dependence was the most common illicit substance after marijuana. Treatment implications are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006