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Research Article

Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Cocaine Use: Findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys

  • Louisa Degenhardt mail,

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: l.degenhardt@unsw.edu.au

    Affiliation: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

    X
  • Wai-Tat Chiu,

    Affiliation: Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Nancy Sampson,

    Affiliation: Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Ronald C Kessler,

    Affiliation: Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • James C Anthony,

    Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology, Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan, United States of America

    X
  • Matthias Angermeyer,

    Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

    X
  • Ronny Bruffaerts,

    Affiliation: Department of Neurosciences and Psychiatry, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium

    X
  • Giovanni de Girolamo,

    Affiliation: Health Care Research Agency, Bologna, Italy

    X
  • Oye Gureje,

    Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

    X
  • Yueqin Huang,

    Affiliation: Institute of Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing, China

    X
  • Aimee Karam,

    Affiliation: Institute for Development, Research, Advocacy and Applied Care (IDRAAC), Beirut, Lebanon

    X
  • Stanislav Kostyuchenko,

    Affiliation: Ukrainian Psychiatric Association, Kiev, Ukraine

    X
  • Jean Pierre Lepine,

    Affiliation: Hospital Fernand Widal, Paris, France

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  • Maria Elena Medina Mora,

    Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Psychiatry, Mexico City, Mexico

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  • Yehuda Neumark,

    Affiliation: Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah, Jerusalem, Israel

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  • J. Hans Ormel,

    Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

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  • Alejandra Pinto-Meza,

    Affiliation: Sant Joan de Déu- Serveis du Salud Mental (SSM), Barcelona, Spain

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  • José Posada-Villa,

    Affiliation: Saldarriaga Concha Foundation, Bogotá, Colombia

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  • Dan J Stein,

    Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

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  • Tadashi Takeshima,

    Affiliation: National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan

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  • J. Elisabeth Wells

    Affiliation: Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Science, Christchurch, New Zealand

    X
  • Published: July 01, 2008
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050141

Reader Comments (1)

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Re: Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Cocaine Use: Findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:27 GMT

Author: Adamson Muula
Position: Dr
Institution: Department of Community Health, University of Malawi, College of Medicine
E-mail: muula@email.unc.edu
Submitted Date: July 03, 2008
Published Date: July 8, 2008
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

The article by Degenhart et al (1) in which they reported cross national results of data from the World Mental Health (WMH) Survey is an important and overdue addition to the literature on drug use across the world. I have at least three concerns with the publication and the Editor's summary which followed.

Firstly, the authors report of "illegal drug" use without defining what they meant by such a term. This leaves the reader to speculate if underage (e.g. under 21 years) alcohol and/or tobacco use (as shown in Fig 1) was considered illegal drug use in the case of the United States. Virtually all states in the US have tobacco and alcohol age restriction in that below a specified age it is illegal to use. Did the authors consider such under age use as "illegal drug use" or they had another definition of what illegal drug use was.
Secondly, in the Editor's summary, it is reported that France was the exception in that interviews were conducted by telephone and not by face to face as had been the case elsewhere. This differs with Degenhart et al's (1) report which stated that the sampling frame was created from only those households with telephone but interviews were by face to face basis (and not as the editor suggests).
Finally, I was curious to learn if the socio-demographic characteristics of persons with landlines (telephones) differs from those without in France.

Reference

1. Degenhardt L, Chiu WT, Sampson N, Kessler RC, Anthony JC, et al. (2008) Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Cocaine Use: Findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. PLoS Med 5(7): e141 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050141

Competing interests declared: I declare I have no competing interests to declare.