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adolescent, China, mental health, nursing, substance addiction, youth



  1. Zhuang, Shu-mei
  2. Chen, Fang


Background: Methamphetamine is a commonly used illicit drug that threatens many adolescents and youth in Asian Pacific countries, contributing to the heavy burden of disease and drug-related death. Little is known about the prevalence of associated psychological problems in methamphetamine-dependent adolescents and youth.


Purpose: The study sought to estimate the prevalence of psychological problems in adolescents and youth in China with methamphetamine dependence and to identify factors related to co-occurring psychological problems.


Methods: A cross-sectional design was used. Methamphetamine-dependent adolescents and youth from two drug rehabilitation centers in Tianjin, China, took part. Each participant was assessed with a sociodemographic questionnaire and Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90).


Results: A total of 161 adolescents and youth took part. Psychological symptomatology was high, with 59.6% of participants having over 160 points on the SCL-90 total score, indicating significant psychological distress. On the basis of subscale scores, phobic anxiety, depression, and anxiety were common. Male participants, younger adolescents, and those who are addicted to methamphetamine for a longer time with more consumption were more likely to experience psychological problems.


Discussion: Nurses should be aware of the type and severity of psychological problems among methamphetamine-dependent adolescents and youth. Nursing care should be designed to relieve psychological problems and improve mental health of the methamphetamine-dependent adolescents and youth.