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Friday, June 3, 2011

New Mental Illness and Addiction Study


Severe cases of addiction often are coupled with mental illness of one kind or another, this not only contributes to the gravity of the disease but it also makes getting sober much more difficult. You can take all the drugs and alcohol out of one's system by choosing abstinence, however, there is no way to wish away mental affliction especially since most cases go without being diagnosed. If problems like depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress go untreated, the reality of finding sobriety is slim to none. A new government survey backs up the former information, finding that alcohol dependence is four times more likely among adults with mental illness, compared with those without mental illness.

The survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found the rate of alcohol dependence in adults with mental illness was 9.6 percent, compared with 2.2 percent for those without mental illness. Not surprising, the rate of alcohol dependence increases along with the severity of mental illness, according to a report by Medical News Today.

  • 7.9 percent of adults with mild mental illness were alcohol dependent
  • 10 percent for those with moderate mental illness
  • 13.2 percent for those with serious mental illness

“Mental and substance use disorders often go hand in hand. This SAMHSA study adds to the evidence of this connection,” SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., said in a news release. “Co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders are to be expected, not considered the exception. Unfortunately, signs and symptoms of these behavioral health conditions are often missed by individuals, their friends and family members and unnoticed by health professionals. The results can be devastating and costly to our society.”

Dual diagnosis patients, otherwise known as people with co-occurring disorders need the assistance of doctors who can properly handle medication in order to give the patient a fighting chance at sobriety.

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