There are certain affects that can result from a mental illness and two with far-reaching consequences are higher rates of homicide and suicide. The good news is, according to a recent Science Daily release, rates of both among the mentally ill are declining in the UK.
In a study by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness at The University of Manchester, it was noted that drug misuse among the mentally ill had led to a rise in homicides in previous years.
The most significant decline in the number of homicides committed by the mentally ill was noted among those suffering from schizophrenia or those considered to be psychotic at the time of the incident. Study authors claim it is too early to conclude whether this decrease is the start of a new trend.
An examination of reported history of drug and alcohol misuse among those with mental issues revealed a significant increase in the number of homicides committed by those with psychosis who also had a history of drug or alcohol misuse. Drug use was the bigger problem and often included such substances as cannabis, cocaine, crack cocaine and amphetamines.
Researchers believe their findings reinforce the recommendation that people with mental health issues should first be treated for drug or alcohol problems, especially given the high rate of use among this population.
It is also believed by researchers that if there is a better understanding of the factors that can trigger certain patients who may leave the ward without permission – when instances tend to occur – they would be better able to prevent tragedies among mentally ill individuals.
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