About 9.5 million adults in the United States suffered from substance use and psychiatric disorders in 2019. In this Epoch Times article, Mindpath Health’s Julian Lagoy, MD, explains the CDC’s report that links the co-occurring diseases.
At least one-third of adults assessed for substance use at treatment centers in 2019 reported severe psychiatric problems, reveals the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent Morbidity and Mortality weekly report, published on June 10, 2022.
According to the report, in 2019, 65.8 million adults reported engaging in binge drinking and 35.8 million reported using illicit drugs or misusing prescription pain relievers. More than 35% of respondents suffered psychiatric issues, 25% had problems with employment, and 22.8% had family issues.
Individuals with substance use patterns were found to be at “elevated risk for overdose and associated harms.”
Alcohol was the most commonly used substance in the past 30 days, with 35.8%. This was followed by cannabis at 24.9% and prescription opioids at 18.5%.
Over 32% of respondents admitted to polysubstance use in the past 30 days, which refers to using two or more substances. The most common polysubstance combinations among the respondents were alcohol and cannabis at 17.2%, followed by cannabis and illicit stimulants at 3.7%.
While 67.4% of unemployed adults experienced more severe drug problems, 53.3% of retired or disabled adults experienced more severe psychiatric issues.
While the latest report only focuses on data from 2019 preceding the COVID-19 outbreak, a future report is expected to analyze how the pandemic affected these trends, said the CDC.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the combination of substance abuse and mental illness falls under the classification of dual diagnosis or co-occurring diseases. Around 9.5 million adults in the United States suffered from both conditions in 2019.
Speaking to WebMD, Monty Ghosh, MD, an addiction specialist at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, says that there is a “significant overlap” between substance misuse and mental health, with more than 80% of individuals “having both.”
“Patients with substance use disorder are at higher risk of experiencing depressive disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorder, schizophrenia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder,” said Julian Lagoy, MD, a psychiatrist with Mindpath Health.
Read the full Epoch Times article with sources.