Positive Link Established Between Substance Abuse & Mental Illness

The numbers reflecting how many veterans are returning to the US suffering from substance abuse and mental health conditions have become unsettling. According to a recent study, there is a strong connection between veterans developing substance abuse problems because of their mental health conditions.

Researchers claim this may be the case with up to one third of veterans. The researchers used Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health records to compare the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who developed substance abuse problems against those who developed mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researchers selected 6 mental disorders they used during the study. More than 1 million veterans were diagnosed with at least one of these conditions, according to VA health records.

Of the veterans suffering from these specific mental conditions, the number of them with substance abuse problems were shocking. Their numbers ranged from 21-35%. Veterans diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia demonstrated the highest levels of substance abuse.

The results from this study will be helpful to the VA mental health system. For many, the results will help dictate the type and amount of health care and attention veterans with varying mental health conditions receive. At the same time, these conclusions serve as a warning to physicians and can be used in a preventative manner to avoid future substance abuse in veterans with these conditions.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.