Risk factors for adolescent substance abuse.

Reviews research on risk factors for adolescent substance use disorders (SUD) and discusses possible relationships between SUDs and learning disabilities (LD). Individual level factors (genetic, biologic, other familial, and psychiatric) emerge as very important in the risk equation, as well as the interaction between individual risk and environmental conditions. Commonalities between SUD risk and LD include prenatal substance exposure, family history of SUD, conduct disorder, social skills deficits, and academic failure; however, further research is needed to establish whether individuals with LD face a specific risk for SUDs, and if so, what the nature of that risk might be.