The dangers of hurricanes, earthquakes and floods can seem clear, with high winds, rising waters or powerful tectonic movements understandably drawing the most concern. But a new study published today found that a natural disaster can also cause lasting damage to a population in another way: through an increased risk of substance abuse.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, warns that people traumatized by major disasters can be at particular risk for a substance abuse disorder.
“Although everyone reacts differently to disasters, some of those affected may suffer from serious mental or emotional distress,” SAMHSA explains online. “These individuals may develop or experience exacerbation of existing mental health or substance use problems, including for example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” Read More . . .