A homeless man smokes crack in the Barrio Triste neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia.
Credit Raul Arboleda / AFP/Getty Images
Mental disorders and substance abuse are the leading causes of nonfatal illness on the planet, according to an ambitious analysis of data from around the world.
A companion report, the first of its kind, documents the global impact of four illicit drugs: heroin and other opiates, amphetamines, cocaine and cannabis. It calls illegal drugs "an important contributor to the global burden of disease."
The two papers are being published by The Lancet as part of a continuing project called the Global Burden of Disease.
Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:03 am
Don't fear the 'shrooms.
How risky are psychedelic drugs to mental health? Not nearly as much as you might have imagined.
People who had taken LSD, psilocybin (the brain-bending chemical in magic mushrooms) or mescaline at any time in their lives were no more likely than those who hadn't to wind up in mental health treatment or to have symptoms of mental illness, according to an analysis by some Norwegian researchers.
And there was some evidence that people who had taken the drugs at some point were less likely to have had recent mental health treatment.
And let's look now at some disturbing health news. At study out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows women are dying from overdoses of prescription painkillers at a much higher rate than men. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Men still die from these overdoses at a higher rate than women. Women are dying from the overdoses at a much higher rate than ever before.]
Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women overdosing. NPR's Patti Neighmond reports.