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Substance use and psychiatric disorders in Irish adolescents: a cross-sectional study


In 2012 the Mental Health and Substance Misuse Journal published a study entitled: Substance use and psychiatric disorders in Irish adolescents: a cross-sectional study of patients attending substance abuse treatment service.

This study sought to examine the pattern of psychiatric disorders among the most recent admissions at the Youth Drug and Alcohol (YoDA) service, Dublin - and to explore for gender differences among adolescents with a substance use disorder (SUD) in Ireland.


Established in 2006, YoDA is a HSE adolescent outpatient service that aims to provide treatment across south Dublin for under 18's who have some form of trouble related to drug and alcohol use. The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study and retrospective review of medical records of individuals engaged with the service between January 2010 and June 2011.

The study sample comprised of data from 144 participants (n=114). Males accounted for 82% and females 18%. The average age of participants was 16.2 years of age. Only 42% of the sample were still attending school, while 40% were unemployed.


Overall, 48% of the patients had a lifetime history of psychiatric disorders. Deliberate self-harm (DSH) was the most common condition (27.1%), followed by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (20.8%) and depression (10.4%).

Video interview

To further explore the study in more depth, we spoke to Philip James - Clinical Nurse specialist in YoDA - and lead author on the study. Philip provides an overview of the study, discusses the main findings, and offers some insights into the area of substance misuse and psychiatric disorders among young people. Listen to our conversation with Philip in the video below.

Posted by Andy on 01/17 at 11:15 AM in
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