Substance abuse is interwoven with mental illness

Some people living with serious mental illness simultaneously experience alcohol and drug use disorders, complicating diagnosis and treatment.

A third of adults who received county mental health services for serious mental illnesses had a co-occurring substance use disorder. The stakes for these individuals are especially high: People with drug or alcohol use disorders are almost six times more likely to attempt suicide than those without.

In this, too, geography matters a great deal. Lake County, for example, has an overdose death rate nearly nine times that of San Bernardino County.