Problem of substance abuse among adolescents with disability: A systematic review
Unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, drinking, and illicit drug use often begin during adolescence; they are closely related to increased morbidity and mortality and represent major public health challenges. Unemployment, poor health, accidents, suicide, mental illness, and decreased life expectancy all have drug misuse as a major common contributing factor. Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities. Patients with disabilities often use prescription medications to battle painful conditions, many of which have high potential for addiction. The presented review was developed in response to the publication of several studies addressing problems of substance abuse among the disabled adolescents. Online database search was performed in Pubmed, Cinhal, Medline and relevant studies were included with no language restriction. Following on from this, databases were accessed to enable a more in depth search of the literature using key words and Boolean operators to generate articles relevant to the topic. These articles were filtered using an inclusion /exclusion criteria in order to refine the results to a manageable level or eight articles. These eight articles were analyzed and the results reported that prevalence rates of SU(D) among individuals with MBID range from almost non-existent to highly prevalent. Within MBID populations, it appears that because of a lack of systematic screening and assessment of SU(D), SU is often overlooked and remains undetected. SUD prevention should start at a young age for children with MBID and all treatment interventions should be tailored to the needs of those with MBID.