Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Teens by Dr. Kimberly Hammes Frank Even when parents seem to do everything right, teens can fall prey to drug and alcohol abuse. While social influences contribute to the likelihood of occurrence, undiagnosed mental health issues can also contribute to substance abuse. Not all negative behavior in children should be ignored as just a phase. Serious depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, bipolar disorder, and many other mental conditions can lead to adolescent substance abuse. Substance abuse can have a strong genetic component and high comorbidity with mood, anxiety, and disruptive disorders. Parents concerned about abnormal behavior or behavior disorders in children should not disregard symptoms. About the author: Dr. Kimberly Hammes Frank is a juvenile psychiatrist with the Northshore Counseling Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (414) 351-7100.