A preliminary survey conducted in 14 regional referral hospitals in Uganda by the Mental Health Uganda (MHU) has revealed that 9 out of 10 cases of mental health illness are related to alcohol and drug abuse.

Mental Health Uganda is an advocacy organization for people that use mental health services.

Records from Mental Health Uganda indicate that 34% of every Ugandan regardless of age and gender has suffered from mental illness.

According to the World Health Organization-WHO,1 out of 4 people have suffered or are suffering from mental illness. 

Derrick Kiiza, the Executive Director of Mental Health Uganda says this is concerning considering that the high numbers are resulting from alcohol and drug abuse.

Kiiza further says although the statistics are not very elaborate, 9 out of 11 beds in the hospitals reserved for mental health service are from alcoholism and substance abuse.   

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Substances being abused by the population include Marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol.

He says besides substance abuse and alcohol, mental health illness is also attributed to other factors including; peer influence, poverty, and HIV/AIDS.

A 2016 study on alcohol use among adults found that the prevalence of alcohol use was highest in the northern region at 23.2 percent, followed by the Western region with 21.4 percent, central 18.5 percent while the eastern region had the lowest prevalence of 13.7 percent.