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Alcohol Use and Mental Health in Developing Countries (2007)

Alcohol Use and Mental Health in Developing Countries (2007)

  1. Salvinorin A
    Annals of Epidemiology 2007;17:S87–S92.


    Vikram Patel

    This paper provides an overview of mental health and alcohol use in developing countries. The review shows that mental disorders are common and pose a significant burden on the health of developing nations. There are close associations between poor mental health and other public health and social development priorities. Although the overall use of alcohol at the population level is relatively low, with high abstention rate, drinking patterns among those who do drink are often hazardous. The consumption of alcohol is heavily gendered and is characterized by a high proportion of hazardous drinking among men. Hazardous drinkers do not only consume large amounts of alcohol, but also do so in high-risk patterns, such as drinking alone and bingeing. Hazardous drinking is associated with depressive and anxiety disorders as well as suicide and domestic violence. The limited evidence base suggests that moderate or casual drinking is not associated with social or health hazards; any likely benefits of moderate drinking for mental health have not been studied in developing countries. The implications of this evidence base for future research and policy are discussed.