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NIDA Releases Report on the Link Between Substance Abuse and Mental Illnesses

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has just released a report containing the findings of a research on the relationship of substance abuse and certain types of mental disorders. Entitled, Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Illnesses, the report’s release is considered timely due to the increased prevalence and the stronger associations between substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. The findings of the report were discussed in a meeting that addressed substance abuse and comorbidities among people from the military, veterans as well as their families.

Over the past 20 years, “national surveys have documented the high prevalence of drug abuse among individuals diagnosed with other mental illnesses and vice versa.” According to various studies, individuals who are suffering from mood or anxiety disorders appear to be twice as likely to deal with drug use as well.

It is still difficult to predict whether drug abuse can lead to a mental illness and vice versa and steps to prevent the comorbidity of these conditions have yet to be established, says NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. “We do know, however, that the high rate of comorbidity means that we need a comprehensive approach to intervention that identifies, evaluates and treats each disorder concurrently.”

NIDA’s report discusses the factors that can possibly lead to the comorbidity. These factors include “genetic and gender vulnerabilities, involvement of similar brain regions, and the influence of developmental factors.” It also offers information on how the comorbidity can be diagnosed and suggests a potential course of treatment.

The said report also highlights the issues surrounding effective treatment of these conditions. It also addresses the needs of returning military personnel, emphasizing that their families may also require different approaches to treatment. In order to look into these concerns, NIDA has organized a meeting on substance abuse in relation to individuals from the military. The meeting covered prevention and approaches to treatment for those already suffering from substance abuse.

For more information on this report and to view fact sheets on substance abuse, feel free to visit the NIDA homepage.

To learn more about drug abuse related studies, explore this website further. Miramar Recovery Center is an established alcohol abuse treatment facility that specializes in individual approaches to substance abuse treatment. Contact us through our helpline to seek for assistance or to inquire about our services today.