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Research Review

Adults With Mental Illness Are Four Times More Likely to Develop Alcohol Dependency

A new report shows that alcohol dependence is four times more likely to occur among adults with mental illness than among adults with no mental illness (9.6% vs. 2.2%). 

Based on a nationwide survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) the report also shows that the rate of alcohol dependency increases as the severity of the mental illness increases.  For example, while 7.9% of those with mild mental illness were alcohol dependent, 10% of those with moderate mental illness and 13.2% of those with serious mental illness were alcohol dependent. 

“Mental and substance use disorders often go hand in hand.  This SAMHSA study adds to the evidence of this connection,” says SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, JD.  “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.”

— Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration