Alcohol Use Disorders in Adolescents

  title={Alcohol Use Disorders in Adolescents},
  author={Duncan B. Clark and Oscar Gary Bukstein and Jack R. Cornelius},
  journal={Pediatric Drugs},
Alcohol (ethanol) abuse and dependence are the most common substance use disorders among adolescents. Binge drinking occurs in up to one-third of adolescents, and alcohol use disorders occur in about 6% of this age group. Adolescents with alcohol use disorders also typically have problems with other substances and comorbid mental disorders. Validated measures are available for the clinical detection and diagnosis of adolescent alcohol use disorders and related problems. Psychosocial… 
Pharmacotherapy for Adolescent Alcohol Use Disorder
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Cautious application of these medications in selected cases in the context of systematic psychosocial interventions is warranted to promote abstinence and address associated problems in adolescents with AUD.
Treatment of co-occurring alcohol, drug, and psychiatric disorders.
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This chapter reviews the state of the art regarding the treatment of comorbid adolescents, identifies gaps in knowledge, and outlines directions for future research in this field.
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Developmentally specific phenotypic characteristics define the natural history of adolescent AUDs, inform clinical assessment and provide the developmental context for treatment research.
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Adolescents with alcohol-related problems often also use cigarettes and marijuana. Furthermore, early childhood characteristics that increase the risk for adolescent alcohol use disorders also
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Findings from preclinical and treatment studies in adults, along with pilot treatment findings in adolescents, suggest that particular serotonergic agents, opioid antagonists, and agents that modulate excitatory amino acids and GABAergic transmission might be effective in adolescents.
Child abuse is a ubiquitous phenomenon with deleterious effects on physical health including poor general health, physical disability, medical diagnoses, and surgical procedures. Associated
Insomnia and Regulation of Sleep-Wake Cycle With Drugs Among Adolescent Risky Drinkers.
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Those with symptoms of insomnia appeared to be managing their sleep-related symptoms through alcohol and other drug use, which may have further exacerbated their sleep issues.


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Treatment programs for adolescents with alcohol use disorders should seek not only to eliminate alcohol and other drug use but also to improve the symptoms of other mental disorders.
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Rates of psychiatric comorbidity with problematic alcohol use in adolescents are striking and represent an important therapeutic challenge.
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Diagnosis and Assessment of Alcohol Use Disorders Among Adolescents
The diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) (i.e., alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence) as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM–IV) were developed largely from research and clinical experience with adults and have significant limitations when applied to this age group.
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The frequency and extent of polydrug use was associated with being older and having higher levels of behavioral undercontrol and negative emotionality, and the use of alcohol and other drugs in combination was reported by a greater percentage of subjects in the alcohol dependence and abuse groups compared with drinkers without an alcohol diagnosis.
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