Repeat DUIs Associated With Mental Illnesses

60% with 2 or more convictions have major depressive disorders, study finds

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FRIDAY, Sept. 22, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of repeat DUI offenders suffer from at least one mental illness, say researchers from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE).

A new study published in the September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol looked at people who had been convicted of at least two DUI (driving under the influence) offenses in the past 10 years.

The researchers found that almost 60 percent of the participants reported experiencing major depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder over their lifetime, in addition to a drug or alcohol-use disorder.

"People who deal with drug and alcohol abusers need to understand there are often other disorders that need to be dealt with as well," Sandra Lapham, principal investigator of the study, said in a prepared statement. "That's why we need to screen repeat offenders for multiple disorders."

More information

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has more about substance abuse treatment services.

SOURCE: Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, news release, Sept. 21, 2006

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