A 7-year longitudinal study published in Addictive Behaviors (2021) examined frequency of alcohol, marijuana, and cigarette poly-substance use over time and how key risk factors contribute to this substance use during adolescence and young adulthood.
Results showed that at baseline and over time, more depression symptoms, more anxiety symptoms, negative mood regulation expectancies, and lower grade point average (GPA) were each associated with more poly-substance use over time.
The authors concluded that depression, anxiety, negative mood regulation expectancies, and GPA all significantly influence both initial and longitudinal levels of substance use across adolescence and young adulthood.
We agree with the researchers who stated that these findings underscore the importance of identifying and treating youth with depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as providing resources early for those struggling in school in order to help with substance use prevention and intervention efforts.
We also believe these data highlight the need for prevention programs that promote mental health, including substance use prevention programs that target healthy lifestyle behaviors like physical activity, nutrition and sleep associated with positive mental health outcomes among youth.
Read the study abstract: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460321001295