People who were exposed to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center (WTC) have elevated rates of alcohol- or drug-related death, reports a study in the October issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. "Following a major disaster, alcohol- and drug-related mortality may be increased," according to the new research by Jim Cone, MD, and colleagues of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The researchers analyzed data on more than 71,000 individuals with some type of direct exposure to the September 11, 2001, attacks, enrolled in the WTC Health Registry. Through 2012, there were 1,193 deaths in this group of WTC survivors. Sixty-six deaths were related to drugs or alcohol: a rate of 5.5 percent.