Mentally Ill More Likely to Use Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs

Based on the latest research, compared to the general population, drug, tobacco, and alcohol use is a lot higher in case of people with some kind of psychotic disorder. The latest research is said to have been the largest handling the different habits of the population with psychiatric illnesses.Mentally Ill More Likely to Use Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs

The Study

In order to reach their conclusions, the specialists worked with 20,000 participants and they analyzed their drinking, smoking, and drug use. About 10,000 participants have been mentally healthy, while the rest has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, mood disorders, schizoaffective disorder, or depression.


The researchers have found that about 75% of the participants with mental illnesses were smokers. In the same time 30% of them were big drinkers which mean that they would have more than four servings of alcoholic beverages on one occasion. We also have to note that about 8% of the general population is a big drinker.


There is some difference regarding the illnesses of the participants as well. 75% of the people with psychiatric disorders are regular smokers, while only 33% of the people without any illness are smokers. 50% of the people with some kind of mental illness have been found to use marijuana on a regular basis. In case of the general population this rate is only of 18%.

Illicit Drugs

Almost half of the participants with psychiatric illnesses used some other kind of illicit drug. The researchers note that the drug use in case of the general population is of about 12%. The researchers claim that their findings are quite important because the people with psychiatric illnesses have a life span 12-25 years shorter than the average population.

Cause of Death

Although some might think that the people with psychiatric illnesses die because of a suicide or substance abuse, the truth is that they die because of cancer and heart disease. These can be a result of chronic tobacco and alcohol use.

The Patients

It might be interesting to know that age and gender don’t really have a big influence in this case. Generally speaking, the rate of smokers has decreased in the past few years. The specialists claim that the doctors should do more in order to raise awareness among this risk group and help people give up their unhealthy habits.

We could blame the system for not taking care of these people, but in fact they should only blame themselves.