A recent study of British young men leads researchers to believe that gang members are more likely to have psychiatric problems and the majority of them had drug or alcohol problems. The study included 4,664 male gang members between 18 and 34 years old. They were from areas that had a lot of gangs, ethnic minorities and lower social classes.
The subjects answered questions about their violent tendencies. More than 70 percent said that in the past five years, they hadn’t performed any acts of violence. About 27 percent said they had assaulted someone or took part in a fight, and 2 percent admitted that they currently held a spot in a gang.
A lot of the violent gang members had a mental illness and were getting psychiatric help. About 25 percent had psychosis, 60 percent had an anxiety disorder and 86 percent had an antisocial personality disorder. Violent thoughts, being a victim of violence and having the fear that it would happen again seemed to causes the psychosis and anxiety. The researchers concluded that the men probably had Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which usually results from exposure to violence.
Of the subjects, 3,106 were dependent on alcohol and 2,658 were dependent on drugs. Though there isn’t a proven correlation between psychiatric problems and drug and alcohol use, it’s believable. When you’re not in the right state of mind, “bad” behavior may not seem so bad at the time. Also, you may drink or do drugs to cope with the symptoms of your illness.
If you have a psychiatric problem such as anxiety or depression, don’t let yourself get caught up in a drug or alcohol addiction. But if you are, Lakeview Health Systems can help. Call 1-866.704.7692 to find out about drug and alcohol rehab programs.
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