The researchers found that among community-dwelling subjects, CD was associated with elevated risk for initiation of use of all substances, with comparatively greater hazard ratios of initiating illicit substances at age 15. By age 18, the hazard ratios remained significant except for alcohol. At age 21, the hazard ratios were significant only for cocaine, amphetamines, inhalants, and "club" drugs. A substantial portion of community subjects without conduct disorder never initiated illicit substance use. “CD confers increased risk for substance use initiation across all substance classes at age 15 years, with greater relative risk for illicit substances compared to licit substances,” the researchers said. “This effect continues until age 18 years, with the weakest effect for alcohol.”
An abstract of the JAACAP article is here. For more information on conduct disorder, see Psychiatric News here.