How does drug and alcohol use affect bipolar disorder in teens?

Sometimes the effects of drugs and alcohol can mimic the symptoms of the manic or depressive episodes of bipolar disorder. Other times, when a teenager is in the midst of a manic or depressive episode, they may be more likely to experiment with or use drugs or alcohol, adding yet another layer to the difficulty in accurately diagnosing bipolar disorder in adolescents as well as young adults. One thing is very clear. The use of any illicit drugs and alcohol in the presence of bipolar disorder must be completely prohibited. Not only do they complicate the diagnostic picture, but their use is like adding "fuel to the fire" of a brain already impaired by a severe illness, and will undoubtedly worsen the symptoms and outcome of the illness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.