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May 24, 2005
Brain Disorders and demand for alcohol, cocaine, and cigarettes
Read more... Schizophrenia Advocacy
The current issue of the reseach journal "Economic Enquiry" has a paper on the issue of "Mental Illness and the Demand for Alcohol, Cocaine, and Cigarettes" - that makes for interesting reading.
It draws conclusions that are of interest to anyone trying to help people with brain disorders:
"Results show that individuals with a history of mental illness are 26% more likely to consume alcohol, 66% more likely to consume cocaine, and 89% more likely to consume cigarettes. This high-participation group is also price-responsive, although their price elasticities differ somewhat from those without mental illness. The results provide added justification for higher taxes and supply reduction activities. Furthermore, subsidizing the treatment of mental illness can reduce addictive consumption."
As a background to the problem, it suggests that:
The U.S. Surgeon General (US Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS] 1999) reports that the indirect costs of mental illness were $ 79 billion in 1990, and in 1996 the United States spent $ 69 billion on treatment of mental illness. Also, about 112,000 deaths in the United States each year are related to alcohol and illicit drug use (USDHHS 2002). In 1995, the economic cost of alcohol and drug abuse was $ 276 billion. This includes the costs of health care, motor vehicle crashes, crime, lost productivity, and other adverse outcomes. Tobacco use is responsible for additional 430,000 deaths per year among adults in the United States, representing more than 5 million years of potential life lost. Direct medical costs related to smoking total at least $ 50 billion per year. Both mental illness and the consumption of addictive goods are associated with increased levels of mortality, physical illnesses, nonfatal accidents, lost income, reduced productivity, and emotional damage caused to children by afflicted parents (McGinnis and Foege 1993; USDHHS 1999).
Diagnosable mental illness affects about 24% of the U.S. population in any given year, and about 43% of the population have had a diagnosable mental illness some time during their lives. There is considerable correlation between mental illness and the consumption of addictive goods. (1) The 24% of the population with a current mental illness consume about 38% of all the alcohol, 44% of all the cocaine, and 40% of all cigarettes. The 43% of the population who have had a period of mental illness sometime during their lives consume about 69% of all the alcohol, 84% of all the cocaine, and 68% of all cigarettes.
Source: Economic Enquiry
Abstract of Journal article: Mental Illness and the Demand for Alcohol, Cocaine, and Cigarettes
Posted by szadmin at May 24, 2005 08:42 PM
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