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Monday, May 20, 2013

Teenage Addiction Most Common Mental Health Problem

Mental health problems are a growing concern amongst teenagers across the globe and new findings suggest that addiction is the number one offender. However, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more commonly referred to as ADHD, is the most commonly diagnosed mental health problem in youth ages 3 to 17, NBC News reports.

About 7 percent of children under 18 are diagnosed with ADHD and 3.5 percent have behavioral problems and 1.1 percent have autism, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 1.3 percent of teenagers between the ages 12 and 13 used marijuana, compared with 6.7 percent of 14 to 15 year-olds and 15.1 percent of 16 to 17 year-olds.

The CDC report found that an estimated one million teenagers abuse drugs or alcohol and more than 695,000 are addicted to tobacco. A total of 4.2 percent of teens were dependent on or abused alcohol in the year 2010-2011. An estimated 4.7 percent of teens had an illicit drug use disorder in the past year.

“This first report of its kind documents that millions of children are living with depression, substance use disorders, ADHD and other mental health conditions,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. “No parent, grandparent, teacher or friend wants to see a child struggle with these issues. It concerns us all. We are working to both increase our understanding of these disorders and help scale up programs and strategies to prevent mental illness so that our children grow to lead productive, healthy lives.”
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