Tomorrow's Health: Mental Health & Substance Abuse


Story Updated: Jan 7, 2014

The dangers of distracted driving, new research on substance abuse among the mentally ill and raising taxes to reduce smoking are some of the health stories making headlines.

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Substance Abuse
People with severe psychiatric disorders are far more likely to smoke, drink and use drugs.
A new study in JAMA Psychiatry is the largest assessment ever of substance abuse among patients with severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Researchers found that more than 75 percent of those patients were regular smokers, 30 percent were binge drinkers and 50 percent were regular marijuana users.
Distracted Drivers
A new study examining the dangers of distracted driving finds drivers are multi-tasking about 10 percent of the time. That includes eating, using cell phones and texting.
Research in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that the risk is greater for newly licensed teen drivers and that they are much more likely to be involved in a crash while texting or reaching for a phone.
Raising Tobacco Taxes
Researchers looking for ways to reduce smoking deaths say raising taxes could go a long way.
A review in the New England Journal of Medicine finds tripling tobacco taxes would prevent 200 million smoking deaths worldwide during this century.
Researchers say the tax hike would double the price of cigarettes in some countries, which could reduce the number of smokers by a third.

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Sheri Page said on Thursday, Jan 16 at 12:39 PM

Why don't you triple tax alcohol as well, due to the severe physical health problems and billions of taxpayer dollars spent on healthcare due to its use, and the danger to other people on the road, when people choose to drink and drive.

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