Alcohol, tobacco and drug use higher in mentally ill

Posted on January 9, 2014

New research from the Washington University School of Medicine has revealed that compared with the general population, alcohol, tobacco and drug use is much higher among individuals who have psychotic disorders.

The research team, including first author Dr. Sarah M. Hartz, says their research is the largest ever study that assesses substance use among populations with serious psychiatric illness.

To reach their findings, the investigators analyzed the smoking, drinking and drug use of 20,000 participants.

More than 10,000 of the participants were free of mental illness, while 9,142 had been diagnosed with either schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder (characterized by hallucinations and delusions) or mood disorders, including depression.

From this, the team found that 30% of participants with severe psychiatric disorders were binge drinkers - defined as consuming four servings of alcoholic beverages at one time. The researchers note that the binge drinking rate of the general population is around 8%.

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Category(s):Addictions

Source material from Medical News Today


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