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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Addiction Mental Illness and Murder Report

The dark underworld that is associated with addiction has been publicized often in the media over the years. Portrayals of violence linked to the selling of drugs are in many many cases highly exaggerated. However, there are many real life cases of people being murdered due to one’s involvement with drugs and according to a new report people battling with addiction, as well as mental illness, are much more likely to lose their life from violence than those who are not.

In fact, people with mental illness who also have an addiction are nine times more likely than the general population to be murdered. People with mental disorders are almost five times as likely to be a murder victim, according to the report.

Swedish government data covering psychiatric diagnoses and causes of death were compiled by Stanford University researchers. Sweden’s 7.2 million adults from 2001 to 2008 were examined under the above criteria. In that time period there were 615 reported murders, of those murders, 141 of the victims had a mental disorder, according to the New York Times.

Individuals with personality disorders were found to be three times more likely to be murdered. Depressed people were 2.6 times more likely to be murdered, those with anxiety disorders were 2.2 times more likely, and schizophrenia cases were 1.8 times more likely.

Researchers point out that the issue of homicide by people with mental disorders has received much attention over the years; however, their risk of being homicide victims has hardly ever been examined.  

The study appears in the British Medical Journal.

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