Singapore: Alcohol Problems Growing
A mental health study has shown that alcohol problems are growing in Singapore. The study also showed that affected people been seeking help earlier.
The second Singapore Mental Health Study, conducted in 2016, found that one in 24 people struggled with alcohol problems in their lifetime, or 4.1% of the population. This is an increase from one in 32 people in the landmark study done in 2010. The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) study was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Nanyang Technological University.
It involved face-to-face interviews with more than 6,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 18 and above. Researchers said those who struggled with alcohol use disorders were lower-educated men aged between 18 and 34. The study also found that more people were willing to seek help for their problem.
More people seek help
While the 2010 study found that only 3.1% of people affected sought treatment for alcohol problems, the latest one showed that nearly one in five had approached a psychiatrist, counsellor, psychologist or family doctor for help.
While there is an increase in the prevalence of anxiety disorders and alcohol abuse, early positive trends in the form of reduction of the 12-month treatment gap and decrease in the delay in seeking treatment are heartening, said Dr Mythily Subramaniam, director of the research division at IMH, per The Straits Times.
However, concerns remain over a significant proportion of people who are not seeking help.
Alcohol among top three mental disorders
The $4.9 million study showed that depression, alcohol abuse and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) remained the top three mental disorders in Singapore, with one in seven people having experienced a mood, anxiety or alcohol use disorder in their lifetime, up from one in eight people in 2010.