Intended for healthcare professionals


Violent crime among mentally ill people is due more to substance misuse than inherent factors, study shows

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 07 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4909
  1. Michael Day
  1. 1London

    Substance misuse rather than inherent aggression is to blame for most violent crimes committed by people with psychoses, a new study indicates.

    As a result of his findings the lead author, Seena Fazel, an Oxford University expert on violence and mental illness, has called on doctors treating mental illness in the community to make it a priority to spot and treat substance misuse.

    Dr Fazel said, “These findings have significant implications for the stigma surrounding mental illness, because it shows that psychotic patients who are not abusing alcohol or drugs are not more violent than other people.

    “It also shows that detecting and dealing with substance abuse in these …

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