Objective: Our study aimed to compare the demographic characteristics of conduct disorder (CD) inpatients versus other psychiatric inpatients in children and adolescents, and assess the association between conduct disorder patients and the spectrum of substance use disorders (SUD). Methods: We included 800,614 psychiatric adolescent (12–18 years) inpatients, and this included 8885 inpatients (1.1%) primarily for conduct disorder in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2010–2014). ICD-9 codes were used to detect SUD, and a logistic regression model was used to evaluate the odds ratio (OR) for SUD in conduct disorder inpatients. Results: A higher proportion of conduct disorder inpatients were of 12–15 years of age (62.6%), male (64.4%), and White (45.7%). The lower median household income was correlated with a higher prevalence of conduct disorder (36.4%). Among SUD, cannabis use (23.7%) was most prevalent in conduct disorder inpatients followed by tobacco and alcohol use (10.1% each). Conduct disorder inpatients have 1.7-fold higher odds (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.52–1.82) for alcohol use and 1.4-fold higher odds (95% CI 1.31–1.49) for cannabis use compared to the non-conduct disorder inpatients. Cannabis use was seen significantly in adolescents (49.1%, 12–15 years), male (75.6%), and African Americans (45.6%). Conclusion: Conduct disorder inpatients have a higher risk of comorbid SUD compared to other psychiatric illnesses. The most common substance to be abused is cannabis followed by tobacco and alcohol. Varying pattern of substance use was seen by demographics and these predictors may help the clinicians for early diagnosis and treatment to improve overall health-related quality of life.
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