World Mental Health Day takes place on October 10 2023. Founded by the World Federation for Mental Health, this year will be the 75th anniversary of the campaign.
The theme for 2023 is ‘Mental health is a universal human right’ and event supporters, including the World Health Organization (WHO), want to bring people and communities together to improve knowledge, raise awareness and drive actions that promote and protect mental health.
Organizers want to highlight that everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of mental health. This includes being protected from mental health risks and having access to quality mental health care.
Mental health in the US
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has found that 1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness every year and 1 in 20 suffer from a serious mental health episode every year.
What’s more, 1 in 6 US youths aged between 6 and 17 experience a mental health disorder every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death between children aged 10 and 14. 50% of all mental illness begins by the time someone is aged 14 and 75% by the age of 24.
Unfortunately, global statistics show that many people living with mental health conditions are isolated and discriminated against, and do not have access to the care they need.
Mental health and substance misuse
Whatever the cause, mental health conditions can be hugely challenging. One serious consequence is that many people turn to using drugs and/or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
The US Department of Health and Human Services revealed that 13.5% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 had both a mental illness concern and a substance use disorder.
Although drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs might feel like the right decision when you’re struggling with mental health, many substances can make the situation worse.
Furthermore, certain substances can actually contribute to a person developing a mental health problem when they may not have had one before.
Every person responds to drugs differently, and there are many factors that contribute to your experience of using drugs (including alcohol), such as where you are when you take them, how much you consume, and your mental state at the time.
Whatever a person’s reasons for taking drugs or drinking alcohol to excess, the fact remains that a dependence on drugs or alcohol can negatively impact a person’s day-to-day life in many ways. This includes everything from creating financial issues and debt to the impact on personal relationships, all of which can make a mental health condition even worse.
What are the signs that someone is abusing alcohol or drugs?
It’s important to remember that just because you suspect a person is abusing alcohol or drugs, it does not necessarily mean that they are.
Some of the signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse can also indicate that they may be struggling with their mental health or an underlying medical condition.
Whatever the real cause, if you have suspicions that a family member, friend, or colleague may be struggling with substance abuse, it’s important to approach the conversation from a position of concern, and not to be accusatory or judgmental.
Here are some of the signs you can look out for if you suspect that someone you know may be abusing drugs:
- Slurred speech
- Persistent itching in one area of the body
- Weight changes
- Lack of interest in appearance or personal grooming
- Mood swings
- Reclusive behavior
- Loss of interest in hobbies or social events
- Erratic or impulsive behavior
And here are some of the signs to watch out for if you are worried that someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependency:
- Prioritizing drinking above all else, even when it is having a detrimental impact on their daily life
- Lack of concentration
- Reduced productivity, including at work
- Drinking at all times of the day such as the morning or lunchtime
- Behavioral changes such as irritability, mood swings or uncharacteristically aggressive behavior
- Memory loss because of drinking
- Risk taking, such as driving a car while over the limit
- Weight changes
Drug and alcohol testing you can trust
Whether you have concerns about a child or family member abusing drugs or alcohol, or just want a test for other personal reasons, AlphaBiolabs’ peace of mind Home Drug & Alcohol Test Kits have been designed to make sample collection quick and easy.
Our Home Urine Drug Test delivers results in just five minutes. Our Home Hair Drug Test can provide up to a 12-month overview of drug use. Our Drug & Alcohol Nail Test provides a simple, non-invasive way to test for drug and alcohol use for a period of up to 12 months.
Please be aware that a peace of mind test is done purely for your personal use. As the name suggests, these tests can help lessen any worries you might have or enable you to seek support for a loved one who has been abusing drugs or alcohol, but they cannot be used for legal purposes.
Unsure which test is for you? Call our friendly, knowledgeable Customer Services team now on 727-325-2902 to discuss your requirements.
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