The Burden of Mental Illness, Alcohol Use Disorder and Underage Drinking
An examination of the impact of alcohol use on the burden of mental and behavioral disorders. More
Evidence shows that alcohol use disorders (AUD) act as major risk factors in psychiatric morbidity. Excessive use of alcohol has been causally linked to a number of other non-communicable diseases (particularly, cancer, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, pancreatitis and diabetes) and injuries. Alarming evidence of heavy drinking among adolescents (fifteen- to nineteen-year-olds) in most countries has raised disquieting concerns about possible escalation in future of neuro-psychiatric diseases, educational failures, juvenile crimes, premature deaths, roadside accidents, and social miseries. The impending danger of such untoward happenings has underscored the need for early intervention and prevention strategies.
The authors, Ramesh Bhardwaj and Atul Bhardwaj, have made attempts to find a quantitative association between excessive alcohol consumption and the burden of mental and behavioral disorders. The results from the ‘Analysis of Variance’ (ANOVA) exercise indicate that excessive alcoholic consumption accounts for 42.5% of the total variance in mental and behavioral disorders related disability at global level.
Research on the personal, social, and environmental factors that contribute to the initiation and escalation of drinking is essential for the development of effective prevention and treatment programs. Focusing on the issue of underage drinking, the authors survey the role of protective and preventive strategies within and across family, peer, school, and community environments.
Early onset of alcohol use is a major public health concern in terms of its impact on adolescent morbidity and premature mortality. The authors have made a commendable attempt at compiling information from leading research contributions on multilevel evidence-based strategies needed to curb the alcohol use at early onset stages.
This research study will be of particular interest to researchers on health policy areas, educationists, social health workers, and public policy makers.
Ramesh Bhardwaj is a Professor of Business in George Brown College, Toronto. Atul Bhardwaj is an instructor of data science at Udemy, an online education marketplace, and data analyst. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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