1/26/15-- According to the Lab Test Blog a study performed in 2014 illuminated that treating substance abuse in mentally ill patients reduces the risk of future violent outbursts. The assumption prior to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s study was that medical professionals would make more headway by treating a patient’s mental illness to stave off future violence. However, in the survey of 300 patients over the duration of a six month period, medical professionals are reconsidering their previous beliefs.
The 300 patients surveyed attended outpatient dual-diagnosis treatment programs providing both substance abuse rehabilitation and mental illness treatment. The University of Buffalo wanted to test whether or not the improvement (and we’re not sure how this marked improvement was quantified) would decrease the chance of violent outbursts.
Clara Bradizza, the senior researcher of the study was surprised about what the study elucidated to scientists, “. . . the severity of the patient’s psychiatric symptoms was not the primary factor in predicting later aggression. Rather, the patient’s substance abuse was the factor most closely associated with future aggression.” Bradizza went on to say, “Treatment attendance is very important for [substance abusers] and treatment programs should include interventions that are likely to decrease substance abuse.”
Progression in addiction and rehabilitation are necessary to make sense of how to best treat substance abuse to provide an environment that is safe for victims of drug abuse, and society at large.