Report Says Adults Who Had Mental Illness in the Past Year Were More Than Three Times as Likely to Have Met the Criteria for Substance Dependence or Abuse

One in 5 American adults aged 18 or older, or 45.6 million people, had mental illness in the past year, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH): Mental Health Findings report presents results pertaining to mental health from the 2011 NSDUH, the primary source of statistical information on the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco by the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12 years or older. Conducted by the federal government since 1971, the survey collects data through face-to-face interviews with approximately 65,750 people aged 12 years or older nationwide, at the respondent’s place of residence.

According to the report, rates for substance dependence or abuse were far higher for those who had mental illness than for the adult population which did not have mental illness in the past year. Adults who had mental illness in the past year were more than three times as likely to have met the criteria for substance dependence or abuse in that period than those who had not experienced mental illness in the past year (17.5 percent versus 5.8 percent). Those who had serious mental illness in the past year were even more likely to have had substance dependence or abuse (22.6 percent).

The complete survey findings from this report are available on the SAMHSA Web site at http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/1211273220.aspx

Source: The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration – November 27, 2012