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Alcohol Use Disorders and Depressive Symptoms in Youth: A Review

Scientists reviewed the association between depressive symptoms and alcohol use disorders (AUD) in adolescents and young adults. They found many factors that affect results including study design, participants' age, severity of problems considered, and gender. Younger adolescents with AUD are at higher risk for a Major Depressive Disorder. Weekly and heavy episodic drinking increases the likelihood for depressive symptoms in adolescents while the role of gender may have an influence but is still unclear. More longitudinal studies are needed to further explore these effects; however, findings suggest a serious need for intervention for adolescent drinking and treatment for both depressive symptoms and AUD to subvert comorbid disorders.

The study “Alcohol use and depression during adolescence and young adulthood: a summary and interpretation of mixed findings,” is published in the Current Addiction Reports. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supported this research effort.

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