How Mental Health and Substance Abuse Fuel the Fire
LOS ANGELES, July 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Alavida: With the recent suicides of celebrities like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, the national conversation around suicide, alcohol abuse, and mental health is more prevalent than ever. High-profile cases such as these highlight just how prevalent this issue is — approximately 10 million Americans seriously considered suicide last year with 1 million report making a suicide attempt.
And the problem is growing. According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, suicide rates have gone up 50 percent amongst women between 2000 and 2016 and 21 percent amongst men.
Alcohol and Depression
A history of mental illness or addiction is the single most important risk factor for suicide: More than 90% of people who commit suicide have a mental illness or addictive disorder. Additionally, depression is the most common mental illness among those who die from suicide, with approximately 60% suffering from the condition.
Alcohol dependence often results in clinical depression, and the rate of suicide among people who are dependent on alcohol is six times that of the general population. According to the CDC, one-third of people who kill themselves have alcohol in their systems.
“Depression falls along a spectrum of severity and is marked by many risk factors and symptoms. It’s not something you feel for a day. It’s a low mood on a daily basis for an extended period of time and gives rise to physical, mental, and social issues if not addressed properly,” explains Lindsay Killam, Clinical Program Director at Alavida.
“Alcohol use is a risk factor for depression. When individuals over consume alcohol for a length of time their brain chemistry changes. Over time, alcohol use becomes more automatic and can feel out of control. The changes in the brain can be a risk for depression especially for those who are genetically predisposed. The lack of control can also lead to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.”
But according to Killam there is hope for problem drinkers. “Evidence-based practice indicates that there is a combination of strategies that we can employ to help break the cycle of problem drinking and depression. Medication can be used to address the reward system in the brain that reinforces alcohol consumption. When combined with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, individuals can learn better coping skills that improve overall health and wellbeing. Working with a collaborative care team, individuals experiencing co-occurring disorders can get comprehensive medical and therapeutic treatment that offers best results for mental health.”
And companies are also beginning to see the value of offering online mental-health care to their employees. A CDC study found that problem drinking accounted for $77 billion in lost productivity – a clear sign that online alcohol counselling not only allows people to get treatment discreetly but is also good for business.
Alavida is the leading online healthcare solution for problem drinking. At Alavida, we combine medication and therapy with the latest technology to personalize treatment and allow clients to privately access their care team from anywhere. Clients set their own goals, and see life-changing results: 87.5% reported feeling more in control of their drinking and 82.5% significantly improved their ability to stop drinking. Available in North America since 2016, Alavida currently has offices in Canada and the USA. More information about Alavida and how treatment works can be found at try.alavida.co/press/
* Source: U.S. National Center for Health Statistics