'Substance abuse, not mental illness, causes violent crime!' The Guardian led with this headline on Sunday 6th September, in response to a study conducted in Sweden over the last three decades. It goes on to say that, the study finds people with drink or drug addictions have similar rates of violent crimes, whether or not they have a mental illness.
The study tracked more than 8,000 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and another 3,700 identified as having bipolar disorder, and found that people with mental illnesses, who abuse substances, have violent crime rates which are six to seven times higher than the general population – as do people with no mental health issues, who have similar drink or drugs problems.
Published in Uncovered Magazine October 2010 issue 1