A new study published in the journal The Lancet reveals that substance abuse and mental health problems have emerged as the two largest causes for death, disability and poor health across the world.
The study was conducted by a group of American and Australian researchers who looked into the premature mortality rates and the amount of time people spent disabled due to over 200 diseases in 187 countries.
The researchers found that mental health issues were the leading causes of poor health with depression accounting for over 40 percent of disabilities while opiods were the reason behind most illnesses caused by substance abuse, which was highest among men between 20 and 29 years of age. Boys and men were more likely to have drug and alcohol abuse issues while mental illness was most common among women and girls.
"Mental and substance use disorders are major contributors to the global burden of disease and their contribution is rising, especially in developing countries. Cost-effective interventions are available for most disorders but adequate financial and human resources are needed to deliver these interventions", University of Queensland's Professor Harvey Whiteford said.