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SAMHSA News - January/February 2006, Volume 14, Number 1

Adolescents, Adults Report Major Depression

cover of NSDUH Report, Depression among Adolescents - click to view reportSAMHSA's Office of Applied Studies recently released two reports revealing that millions of American adolescents and adults experienced major depression at least once in 2004, with those suffering from depression more likely to have used illicit drugs.

According to one report, based on data from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 9 percent of adolescents age 12 to 17 (an estimated 2.2 million) experienced at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the 12 months prior to the survey, with the lifetime prevalence of depression among adolescents estimated at 14 percent.

cover of NSDUH Report, Depression among Adults - click to view reportIn the survey, a major depressive episode was defined using the diagnostic criteria in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). These criteria specify a period of 2 weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure and other symptoms, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-image.

Adolescents who had experienced a major depressive episode in the past year were more than twice as likely to have used illicit drugs in the past month (21.2 percent) than their peers who had not (9.6 percent).

Less than half of the affected adolescents (40.3 percent) received treatment for depression during that time, but those with health insurance at the time of the survey were more likely to have received treatment (41.2 percent) than those without it (26.9 percent).

In a related NSDUH report, 8 percent of adults age 18 or older (an estimated 17.1 million) reported experiencing at least one MDE in the 12 months prior to the survey.

The rate of past-month illicit drug use was nearly twice as high among adults who had experienced an MDE (14.2 percent) compared with those who had not (7.3 percent).

Among affected adults, 65.1 percent had received treatment for depression. The percent of adults receiving treatment for depression increased from 46.3 percent for persons age 18 to 25 to 73.9 percent for persons age 50 to 64.

The reports, Depression among Adolescents and Depression among Adults, are available online on the SAMHSA Web site at www.oas.samhsa.govEnd of Article

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SAMHSA News Information

SAMHSA News - January/February 2006, Volume 14, Number 1

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