Depression and problematic substance use represent two of the major social and health problems facing young people internationally. Frequently, these conditions co-occur and this co-occurrence is associated with greater functional impact, poorer treatment outcomes, and increased costs to both society and the individual.
This review aims to identify peer-reviewed published trials of interventions for co-occurring substance use and depression delivered to young people, describe these interventions, and critique the methodological quality of the studies.
Eleven electronic databases were searched. The reference lists of relevant review papers were searched manually for additional studies not identified by the electronic database search.
Initially, 1,976 studies were identified, of which 22 were classified as trial studies of youth-based treatment interventions for co-occurring substance use and depression. Ten of these studies met criteria for review. The majority (60%) utilized a pharmacotherapy component, but found it to be generally no better than placebo when both groups received adjunct counselling. METHODological quality of studies varied.
There is a dearth of trials of interventions for co-occurring depression and substance use disorders in young people. The limited data available is promising regarding the overall effectiveness of a psychological counselling approach. Given the importance of early intervention, and the difficulties faced when engaging youth in treatment, there is a need for further focused effort amongst this group. This may require more innovative techniques in intervention design and implementation. Recent advances in Internet- and mobile phone-based therapies present a potential avenue for further research.
Oversett med Google Translate