The relationships between use of alcohol, tobacco, and coffee in adolescence and mood disorders in adulthood

Acta Psychiatrica ScandinavicaScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | November 12, 2022



Approximately 5% of adolescents meet the criteria for a substance abuse disorder. There have been numerous reports demonstrating an association between substance abuse in adolescents and new onset mood disorders, especially bipolar disorder. Approximately two-thirds of adolescents with a substance abuse disorder develop a mood disorder, most often associated with cannabis, prescription medications, nicotine, and alcohol (in that order).

The current study confirmed the association between cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption in adolescents, and the onset of bipolar disorder (but not major depressive disorder) in adults.

The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 Study was the source of data (n=7660) for the current study. Alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and coffee consumption was recorded at 16 years of age and correlated with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder as adults.

The mean number of cigarettes smoked per day (OR=1.23) and mean volume of alcohol consumption (OR=1.22) were associated with the onset of bipolar disorder, but not major depressive disorder, in adulthood.