MENTAL illness and substance abuse

An Interesting Article. I have had a long held belief that substance abuse (and in particular drugs and alcohol) are responsible for more of the global mental health burden than diabetes or stroke. This report seems to agree with this…..(apologies couldn’t find the link)

MENTAL illness and substance abuse…..

MENTAL illness and substance abuse are the leading causes of non-fatal illness in the world, according to the latest part of major research into the global burden of disease.

And the issues are second only to musculoskeletal diseases as causes of disability inAustralia, according to the study led byUniversityofQueensland Professor Harvey Whitefordas part of the Lancet Global Burden of Disease 2010 report.

His study shows mental illness, drugs and alcohol are responsible for more of the global health burden than diabetes or stroke or from HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined.

Depressive disorders cause 40.5 per cent of the mental health burden in the 187 countries and 21 regions covered by the study. Next are anxiety (14.6 per cent), drugs (10.9 per cent) and alcohol (9.6 per cent).

The most vulnerable people are aged 10 to 29.

Like the rest of the world,Australia’s mental health burden is increasing because of population growth and ageing rather than increasing prevalence.

The top two individual causes of disability in the country are back pain and depression.

“A global effort is required to implement prevention and intervention strategies for mental health and substance use disorders,” says Prof Whiteford.

“Treatment rates are low. Even in developed countries, treatment is typically provided many years after the disorder begins.”

He says stigma is a major problem in all countries.

The study shows the Australasian region stands out as having the highest rate of eating disorders, which Prof Whiteford says are rising globally.

“It’s a big issue. Not just anorexia, it’s bulimia as well.

“It is much more common than we think. It is not a biological brain disease as much as it seems to be influenced by culture and peer pressure.”

Overall, girls aged 10 and older and women are at greatest risk of death and disease from mental disorders and men have the greatest risk of drug and alcohol dependence.

Prof Whiteford says Australians with a mental illness die 14 years earlier than their peers on average and this gap is widening.

“One of the issues that we have not fully examined is some of the other conditions that accompany mental disorders.

“It is not just about mental health, but physical health as well.”

About John Hart… John has a :

Master’s In Education” (Disability/Rehab)Newcastle UniversityAustralia

“Grad Cert Education”NewcastleUniversity”Australia

“Diploma Fitness/Recreation”

“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”

“Cert 4 Personal Training”

“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”

Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)

Accredited First Aid Trainer

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