Alcoholism is a pervasive issue that affects individuals, families, and communities across the globe. What many people fail to realize is how frequently alcoholism co-occurs with mental health issues.

Statistics on Alcoholism, 7 Frightening Facts and Statistics on Alcoholism and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders, Days of a Domestic Dad

Facts and Statistics on Alcoholism

This phenomenon, known as “dual diagnosis,” creates challenges for those affected and treatment professionals alike. This article presents seven frightening facts and statistics about alcoholism and co-occurring mental disorders, highlighting the need to address this urgent public health crisis.

Fact #1: Co-Occurring Disorders Are Common Among People with Alcoholism

Nearly 8 million adults in the US deal with co-occurring disorders, as reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Individuals may experience both a substance use disorder, such as alcoholism, and a mental health disorder simultaneously. The co-occurrence of these conditions is so prevalent that almost 50% of those seeking treatment for substance abuse also experience a mental health disorder.

Fact #2: Substance Use Can Exacerbate Underlying Mental Health Issues

While it’s true that abusing substances may cause new mental health problems, it can also worsen the existing ones. For instance, someone who struggles with anxiety or depression may find temporary relief through alcohol use. However, this worsening of symptoms can ultimately result in more severe psychiatric problems over time.

Fact #3: Co-Occurring Disorders Can Fuel Each Other

It’s a vicious cycle: Alcoholism can exacerbate mental health issues, and mental health issues can drive people to consume more alcohol to alleviate their symptoms. This problematic cycle of alcohol abuse and co-occurring disorders presents a significant challenge when it comes to treatment. Tackling one issue without addressing the other often leads to relapses and continuing problems.

Fact #4: Early Intervention Is Crucial for Successful Treatment

In addressing both alcoholism and co-occurring disorders, early intervention is key to success. Research shows that early treatment increases the likelihood of long-term recovery and reduces the severity of both alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Many individuals are unfortunately unaware of the correlation between their substance use and mental well-being, making it difficult to intervene before their situations worsen.

Fact #5: Trauma Increases the Risk of Developing Co-Occurring Disorders

Interestingly, individuals who have experienced trauma are at a greater risk of developing both alcoholism and co-occurring mental disorders. According to research conducted by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, nearly 6 out of 10 young people who have experienced PTSD will go on to develop substance use disorders.

Fact #6: Alcoholics with Co-Occurring Disorders Have Higher Rates of Suicide

The risks associated with co-occurring disorders extend beyond just mental health concerns. Individuals suffering from alcoholism combined with mood disorders such as depression face a higher risk of suicide than either population alone. The potent combination of alcoholism and mental health issues often leads to feelings of hopelessness, making it difficult for those affected to envision a future without pain.

Fact #7: Integrative Treatment Is Essential for Recovery

Addressing both alcoholism and co-occurring mental disorders requires an integrative treatment approach. Instead of treating one issue in isolation, dual diagnosis treatment programs aim to address both simultaneously. Interventions often involve a mix of therapies. These include behavioral, medicinal, and lifestyle therapies.

The interplay between alcoholism and co-occurring mental disorders is a complex and alarming issue that deserves our undivided attention. This subject is far more sinister than just a matter of willpower or individual choice. Increasing awareness and fostering empathy can break down the stigma around alcoholism and co-occurring mental disorders. This creates new opportunities for real and lasting change.

Statistics on Alcoholism, 7 Frightening Facts and Statistics on Alcoholism and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders, Days of a Domestic Dad