Alcohol dependence is four times more likely among adults with mental illness, compared with those without mental illness, according to a new government survey. The survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found the rate of alcohol dependence among adults with mental illness was 9.6 percent, compared with 2.2 percent for those without mental illness.
Medical News Today reports that the rate of alcohol dependence increases along with the severity of mental illness. While 7.9 percent of adults with mild mental illness were alcohol dependent, that rate rose to 10 percent for those with moderate mental illness and 13.2 percent for those with serious mental illness.
“Mental and substance use disorders often go hand in hand. This SAMHSA study adds to the evidence of this connection,” SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., said in a news release. “Co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders are to be expected, not considered the exception. Unfortunately, signs and symptoms of these behavioral health conditions are often missed by individuals, their friends and family members and unnoticed by health professionals. The results can be devastating and costly to our society.”