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Study Links Mental Illness, Addiction and Coronary Heart Disease

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New results from a recent study show that coronary heart disease is linked with mental disorders and substance abuse disorders in men.

Heart Disease Study

The study, conducted by the University of Edinburgh, University of Southampton and Karolinska Institute, surveyed more than 1.1 million Swedish men (starting at an average age of 18.3) over a period of 22 years.

The results showed that men who were diagnosed with an alcohol abuse disorder or depression were at higher risk for coronary heart disease.

Other Addiction Correlation Statistics

According to research and data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, mental illness and substance abuse disorders have a correlation of their own. On its website, SAMHSA estimates 8.9 million people have both a mental illness and substance abuse disorder.

It also says that just 7.4% of people are treated for both conditions, and another 55.8% don’t get any treatment at all.

On another website run by SAMHSA, addiction and substance abuse are classified as a complex disease of the brain. Because of this complexity, the site suggests that effective recovery can require complex treatment. Treatment aimed at substance abuse exclusively – meaning a program that disregards mental health or other physical conditions – may not be enough.

Both SAMHSA and the recent study out of the University Edinburgh suggest that co-occurrence of substance abuse and other disorders is a common thread for addicts. In the Edinburgh study, the results consistently linked mental illness and substance disorders with heart disease, even when taking into consideration other coronary disease risk factors, like body mass index (BMI), diabetes and high blood pressure.

The underlying theme from both the universities and the health group indicates that substance abuse is an issue that’s complicated, as is its treatment. Getting help for addiction isn’t as simple as just “quitting.” While that’s certainly a piece of it, as explains, the ultimate goal is sustained abstinence and recovery.

The Watershed offers help for addictions of many kinds, for people from all walks of life. If you’re ready to take back control of your life with addiction treatment, or are looking for help to support a loved one during their struggles, contact The Watershed today: 1-800-861-1768.

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