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Mental Illnesses May Have Link to Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Alcoholism and drug addiction is often linked with untreated mental illness.Alarming new statistics reveal much higher burden of mental illness.

Recent research has clearly confirmed that funding for research to combat disease is disproportionate to the burden that is imposed on a given population. In reality, in the developing world a huge disparity exists between research to combat disease and the enormous weight that disease causes. This chasm is especially prevalent in research relating to mental illness.

This disparity between the effects of neurological disease in humans and the limited research funds is seen universally. In most countries disorders such as heart disease and cancer receive more funding for research as they result in early death in most cases. However, disorders relating to the brain usually manifest as disabilities that do not usually result in death but affect the quality of life in those that are afflicted.

The consequences that this dilemma has are so serious that it has become necessary to more thoroughly investigate the burden these disorders create. One study, conducted by statisticians and brain specialists, ended in results so unexpected that it led to a new quantification of the weight of such brain disorders. The research was built on a previous study and was conducted across thirty countries in Europe. As the results emerged, the researchers consulted with national experts to validate what was becoming increasingly clear. The shocking conclusion was that in these countries 165 million people each year will develop full mental illness; a full 38 percent of the population.

The study also revealed information related to the years that are lost due to disability or shortened life. This assessment is known as disability adjusted life year or DALY. It is used to measure disease burden in any given population. The authors of the study concluded that mental and neurological brain disorders impose the heaviest health burden on the population in these areas. In fact, diseases involving the brain comprise DALYs of 23.4 percent in men and 30.1 percent in women.

Depression was found to be the heaviest burden of human disorders. Depression is greater in women; especially in the child bearing years. In Eastern Europe men far outnumber women when it relates to disorders relating to alcohol use by approximately 2 to 1. It was concluded that a massive 30 million people in the 30 countries that were studied are affected with major depression.

The study did result in a measure of good news. In individuals, the prevalence of these conditions has not increased in the past years apart from alcoholism. However, the bad news is just half of the people who have a mental disorder received professional care. Also, after initial contact with health professionals followed by long delays, only 10 percent get even theoretically adequate treatment.

These unfortunate statistics proves that a shifting of priorities for funding research is needed. In Europe, research on cancer, agriculture, technology and other areas receive a disproportionate amount of funding than research for brain disorders. Finances for this research require that investments in psychological therapies and essential neurosciences. Diseases of the brain in the aged, such has Alzheimer’s, as well as disorders of young people should be targeted. This includes mental development in infants as well as adolescent mental health; a stage when neural development is still active. Understanding neurological development in the young and the effect of environmental influences are key challenges that also must be addressed.

The alarming results of the study again emphasize the urgency of psychiatric troubles in our society. Chief among issues to be addressed are the severe consequences of substance use disorder.  A number of authoritative studies have concluded that more than two thirds of people receiving addiction treatment have an additional disorder linked to the addictive behaviour which must also be treated. We at Sobriety Home drug addiction treatment rehab maintain a conscious awareness of the implications of this research. We focus on both the addictive based behaviour as well as underlying concurrent disorders to provide a comprehensive treatment plan for each individual.

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