High rates of substance abuse exist among veterans with mental illness

April 19, 2011

A new study published in The American Journal on Addictions reveals that Veterans who suffer from mental health disorders also have high rates of substance use disorders.

Led by Ismene Petrakis, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine, researchers used national administrative data from the Department of Veterans Affairs to examine rates of disorders among Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who were also diagnosed with PTSD and other .

A total of 1,001,996 VA patients were diagnosed with one of the six designated mental disorders. The rates of substance use disorders among those with mental illness ranged from 21-35%.

Results show that there were high rates of substance use disorders found among veterans with mental illness, with the highest rates of substance abuse occurring among those with bipolar disorder and .

"Our findings may be useful in program planning and for understanding the needs of veterans of different eras," Petrakis notes. "For example, in determining the needs of veterans from the current conflicts, it seems that those with serious are particularly in need of services to address a comorbid substance use disorder."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New study rebuts the claim that antidepressants do not work

August 18, 2017
A theory that has gained considerable attention in international media, including Newsweek and the CBS broadcast 60 minutes, suggests that antidepressant drugs such as the SSRIs do not exert any actual antidepressant effect. ...

Should I stay or should I leave? Untangling what goes on when a relationship is being questioned

August 17, 2017
Knowing whether to stay in or leave a romantic relationship is often an agonizing experience and that ambivalence can have negative consequences for health and well-being.

Kids learn moral lessons more effectively from stories with humans than human-like animals

August 17, 2017
A study by researchers at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto found that four to six-year-olds shared more after listening to books with human characters than books with anthropomorphic ...

History of stress increases miscarriage risk, says new review

August 17, 2017
A history of exposure to psychological stress can increase the risk of miscarriage by upto 42 per cent, according to a new review.

Study finds children pay close attention to potentially threatening information, avoid eye contact when anxious

August 17, 2017
We spend a lot of time looking at the eyes of others for social cues – it helps us understand a person's emotions, and make decisions about how to respond to them. We also know that adults avoid eye contact when anxious. ...

Communicating in a foreign language takes emotion out of decision making

August 16, 2017
If you could save the lives of five people by pushing another bystander in front of a train to his death, would you do it? And should it make any difference if that choice is presented in a language you speak, but isn't your ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.