Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Facts

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), declares September as National Recovery Month. The following information demonstrates that behavioral health is crucial to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from these conditions.

Mental Illness…

  • In 2011, 45.6 million U.S. adults aged 18 or older had a mental illness in the past year. 1
  • In 2011, 31.6 million adults aged 18 or older reported receiving mental health services in the past year. 2
  • Serious mental illness is associated with an estimated total economic cost of $317 billion per year. 3
  • In the United States, a person dies from suicide every 15 minutes. 4

Substance Use Disorders…

  • In 2011, 20.6 million people aged 12 or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year. 5 in 2011, 19.3 million people aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem, but did not receive treatment at a specialty facility in the past year. 6
  • Substance use costs the country an estimated $510 billion annually, including specialty alcohol and drug services, medical consequences, lost productivity due to death and illness, and injury or legal costs. 7

Behavioral Health is Essential to Health…

  • In 2011, eight million adults reported having co-occurring disorders, meaning they have both a mental and a substance use disorder. 8
  • Individuals with mental illnesses have increased risk for a number of physical health problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and smoking. Half of all lifetime cases of mental and substance use disorders begin by age 14 and three-fourths by age 24. 9.10.11.12
  • Untreated mental and substance use disorders lead to more deaths than traffic accidents, HIV/AIDS, and breast cancer combined. 13

Prevention Works…

  • The first symptoms typically precede a mental and/or substance use disorder by two to four years, offering a window of opportunity to intervene early and often. 15
  • Research shows that for every $1.00 invested in prevention and early treatment programs, $2.00 to $10.00 could be saved in health costs, criminal and juvenile justice costs, educational costs, and lost productivity. 16
  • A well-implemented public awareness campaign raises cognizance of the signs and symptoms of mental disorders and risks for suicide. 17
  • In 2011, approximately one in eight youths aged 12 to 17 reported that they had participated in drug, tobacco, or alcohol prevention programs outside of school in the past year. 18
  • In 2011, the prevalence of past month use of illicit drugs or marijuana was lower among those who reported having exposure to drug or alcohol prevention messages. 19

 

Treatment is Effective…

  • Scientific research shows that treatment can help patients addicted to drugs stop using, avoid relapse, and successfully recover their lives. 20
  • Approximately 80 percent of patients with depressive disorders improve significantly with treatment and recovery support services .21

People Recover…

  • Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. 22
  • Approximately three-quarters of Americans believe that recovery is possible from addiction to substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and marijuana. 23
  • Two-thirds of Americans believe that treatment and support can help people with mental illnesses lead normal lives. 24

Sources

1.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-45, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4725. Rockville, MD:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012, p. 1.

2.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-45, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4725. Rockville, MD:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012, p. 1.

3.Insel, T.  (2008).  Assessing the Economic Costs of Serious Mental Illness.  American Journal of Psychiatry,165(6), 663-665.  Retrieved August 30, 2012 from http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/data/Journals/AJP/3861/08aj0663.pdfExternal link. Please review our Disclaimer.

4.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fatal Injury Data.  (2009).  Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System.  Retrieved August 30, 2012 from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.htmlExternal link. Please review our Disclaimer.

6.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-44, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4713. Rockville, MD:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012, p. 6.

7.Miller, T. and Hendrie, D. Substance Abuse Prevention Dollars and Cents: A Cost-Benefit Analysis, DHHS Pub. No. (SMA) 07-4298. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2008, p. 6.

8.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-45, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4725. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012, p. 1.

9.Li, C., Ford, E.S., Zhao, G., Strine, T.W., Dhingra, S., Barker, L., Berry, J.T., & Mokdad, A.H.  (2007).   Association Between Diagnosed Diabetes and Serious Psychological Distress Among U.S. Adults: the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.  International Journal of Public Health, 54(1), 43-51.

10.Fan, A.Z., Strine, T.W., Jiles, R., & Mokdad, A.H.  (2006).  Depression and Anxiety Associated with Cardiovascular Disease among Persons Aged 45 Years and Older in 38 States of the United States.  Preventive Medicine, 46(5), 445-540.

11.Stine, T.W., Mokdad, A.H., Dube, S.R., Balluz, L.S., Gonzalez, O., Berry, J.T., Maderscheid, R., & Kroenke, K.  (2008).  The Association of Depression and Anxiety with Obesity and Unhealthy Behaviors Among Community-Dwelling US adults.  General Hospital Psychiatry, 30, 127-137.

12.Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K. R., and Walters, E. E. (2005).  Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593–602.

13.Kochanek, K.D., Xu, J., Murphy, S.L., Minino, A.M., and Kung, H. (2011). Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2009. National Vital Statistics Reports, 59(4), 1-51. Retrieved August 30, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_04.pdfExternal link. Please review our Disclaimer.

15.The National Academies.   (2009).  Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders among Young People Progress and Possibilities.  Retrieved September 7, 2012 from http://www.bocyf.org/prevention_policymakers_brief.pdf, p. 1.

16.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  (2012).  Justification of Estimates for Appropriations  Committees.  Retrieved October 22, 2012 from  http://www.samhsa.gov/Budget/FY2012/SAMHSA-FY11CJ.pdf, p. 172.

17.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Surgeon General and National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action. Washington, DC: HHS, September 2012, p. 12.

18.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-44, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4713. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012, p. 70.

19.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-44, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4713. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012, p. 71.

20.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Drug Abuse.  (n.d.).  Drugfacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.  Retrieved September 25, 2012 from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addictionExternal link. Please review our Disclaimer.

21.Nordqvist, C.  (2009).  What is Mental Health? What is Mental Disorder? Medical News Today. Retrieved October 18, 2012, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154543.phpExternal link. Please review our Disclaimer.

22.SAMHSA Blog.  (2011).  SAMHSA’s Definition and Guiding Principles of Recovery – Answering the Call for Feedback.  Retrieved August 30, 2012 from http://blog.samhsa.gov/2012/03/23/defintion-of-recovery-updated/.

23.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  (n.d.).  Americans Believe in Prevention and Recovery From Addiction. CARAVAN Fact Sheet.  Retrieved August 30, 2012 from  http://www.samhsa.gov/Attitudes/CARAVAN_Factsheet.pdf, p. 2.

24.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006).  National Mental Health Anti-Stigma Campaign:  What a Difference a Friend Makes (SMA07-4257). Retrieved September 21, 2011, from http://www.samhsa.gov/MentalHealth/SMA07-4257.pdf, p. 3.

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