Pharmacotherapy interventions for adolescent co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders: a systematic review

Pharmacotherapy interventions for adolescent co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders: a systematic review

Scott, K. Becker, S. J. Helseth, S. A. Saldanha, I. J. Balk, E. M. Adam, G. P. Konnyu, K. J. Steele, D. W.
Family Practice
BACKGROUND: Co-occurring mental health and substance use (SU) disorders among adolescents are common, with two-thirds of adolescents who seek SU treatment also requiring support for mental health. Primary care physicians play a key role in the pharmacological treatment of mental health disorders among adolescents, however, little is known about the impact of these treatments on SU outcomes. OBJECTIVES: This systematic review summarizes the evidence regarding commonly used pharmacotherapy interventions for mental health and their impact on adolescent SU. METHODS: Literature searches were conducted across five databases as part of a larger systematic review of adolescent SU interventions. Studies were screened for eligibility by two researchers, and study data were extracted regarding study design, patient and treatment characteristics and results. Risk of bias analyses and qualitative syntheses were completed to evaluate the strength of the evidence and the impact of pharmacotherapy on SU outcomes. RESULTS: Ten randomized controlled trials exploring seven pharmacotherapies met criteria for inclusion. All studies had low to moderate risk of bias. Four studies evaluated pharmacotherapy for co-occurring depression and SU, three evaluated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and SU, and three evaluated bipolar disorder and SU. Five of the 10 studies also included a behavioural intervention. We found no evidence that pharmacotherapy for co-occurring mental health diagnoses impacted SU. CONCLUSION: Family medicine clinicians prescribing pharmacotherapy for mental health should be aware that additional interventions will likely be needed to address co-occurring SU.

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Behandling og hjelpetiltak


Psykiske vansker og lidelser

Følelsesmessige problemer

Depresjon og nedstemthet (inkl. både vansker og lidelse)

Bipolare lidelser


Rus og spilling


Illegale rusmidler



Medikamentell behandling


Stimulerende midler

Antipsykotisk medisin


Ungdom (13-18 år)

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