Opiates (like Heroin and Pain Pills) the Number One Cause of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

substance abuseUsing global data from 2010, and looking at disability-adjusted years (DAYs), years of life lost to premature mortality (YLLs), and years lived with disability (YLDs), this study looked at 20 mental and substance use disorders.  This accounted for 184 million DAYs or 7.4% of all the worlds DAYs, 8.6 million YLLs, and 175 million YLDs.

Mental health was the leading cause of YLD’s worldwide, with depression accounting for 40% of DALs in the substance use and mental health category. Also found was that anxiety accounted for 15%, illicit drug use 11%, alcohol use disorders 10%, schizophrenia 7%, bipolar 7%, pervasive developmental disorders 4%, childhood behavioral disorders 3%. The number of mental health and substance abuse disorders worldwide increased by 38% between 1990 and 2010.

Since this study coded suicide separately in the category of physical harm, and we know that a majority of suicides involve mental health or substance use issues, the magnitude of the death and disability caused by substance use and mental health disorders (many which are triggered by substance use) is staggering.

This study may also have under-appreciated the magnitude of the autism and autism spectrum, ADD, and ADHD tidal wave that will continue to hit our world for the generation to come. 

At integrative Pediatrics the number one goal is prevention.  We do everything possible through counseling on diet and vaccines and healthy lifestyle to help you raise healthy children and reduce their risks for mental health and substance use disorders.  For those suffering from these disorders, there are natural and medication approaches. 

For the teenagers and young adults that find themselves addicted or dependent on opiates, Fair Start is the clinic to guide you safely off the opiates completely and not just substitute one opiate addiction with another as the methadone clinics do. Natura Integrative Medicine is the clinic for all ages in Portland for Naturopathic and Integrative Medicine approaches to restoring health (opens November 1st 2013).   

Read the Study Here


Dr. Paul

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