"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Study Finds Link Between Teen Substance Use and Mental Health

January 30, 2024 – Teens who drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes or marijuana usually tend to suffer from mental health problems than those that don't use these substances repeatedly, a brand new study reports.

According to a study published in, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity and suicidal thoughts are related to using these substances JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers noted that screening teenagers for his or her substance use could possibly be helpful find underlying mental health problems.

“Universal screening for psychiatric symptoms in the context of all types of substance use is, in our opinion, most important,” said Brenden Tervo-Clemmens, assistant professor of psychiatry on the University of Minnesota and lead creator of the study The New York Times.

“All of the mental health symptoms we looked at, whether it was depression, suicidal ideation or ADHD, were elevated regardless of the substance,” he said.

Researchers said each day or near-daily use was related to a moderate increase in symptoms, The New York Times reported. “The most severe psychological symptoms occurred among the most frequent and intensive users of the substances,” the newspaper wrote.

The study used information from two large groups of teenagers. One group consisted of 15,600 highschool students in Massachusetts, the opposite consisted of knowledge from 17,000 teenagers who responded to the national survey of adolescent risk behavior.

A connection has been found between various symptoms and substances.

“It’s not just cannabis, it’s not just alcohol, it’s not just nicotine,” Tervo-Clemmens said. “It doesn’t seem to matter what substance it is.”