Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
Mental Health is defined as our emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Mental illness is a term used for any condition that affects a person's mood, behavior or thoughts in a way that is distressing or impairs functioning and is used collectively to describe all mental disorders Substance Abuse is defined as can simply be defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. "Substances" can include alcohol and other drugs (illegal or not) as well as some substances that are not drugs at all. "Abuse" can result because you are using a substance in a way that is not intended or recommended, or because you are using more than prescribed.
- In the US, women are more likely to be diagnosed with mental illness than men (23 percent of women versus 16.9 percent of men.
- Nationally, women are about 40% more likely than men to develop depression and twice as likely as men to develop Post Trau Skin cancer messages among racial/ethnic groups at risk for delayed diagnosis, advanced disease and lower survival… matic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- In the US, depression is more prevalent in women than men. While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5. (Women are twice as likely to be affected by generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (often due to sexual trauma) as men.
- Women face tougher challenges. They tend to progress more quickly from using addictive substances to dependence. They also develop medical or social consequences of addiction faster than men, often find it harder to quit using addictive substances, and are more susceptible to relapse.
- Alcohol: About 7% to 12% of women abuse alcohol, compared with 20% of men, but this gap is narrowing.
- Opioids. Women are more likely than men to receive prescriptions for opioids. They also are more likely to visit emergency rooms because they abused or misused opioids, suggesting they suffer more medical consequences.
- Marijuana. Men are nearly three times as likely as women to report smoking marijuana on a daily basis. Although preliminary research suggests women might suffer more adverse medical effects and progress more quickly to dependence, more research is needed in this area.
- Stimulants. Men and women are equally likely to use and abuse stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine, but women report first using cocaine at younger ages than men. Preliminary evidence also suggests women more quickly develop dependence on stimulants, and are more prone to relapse after quitting the habit.
- New, gender-specific treatment programs are helping women to achieve recovery and avoid relapse.
- The fact that more women are using alcohol is concerning because women develop alcohol dependence more quickly than men do. Alcohol-related problems such as brain atrophy or liver damage also occur more rapidly in women than in men.
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
Harvard Medical School’s January 2010 “Mental Health Newsletter”
Click here for overview of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Oklahoma
Click here for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey