According to a new study, about one in six U.S. citizens resorts to psychiatric medication in order to cope with disorders such as insomnia, anxiety, or depression. Hence, the researchers looking into the matter say that in 2013 approximately 17 percent adults filled prescriptions for sedatives, antidepressants, sleep drugs, and antipsychotics. As opposed to Xanax, Zoloft, or Ambien, the latter are used in treating bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The co-author of the study, Thomas Moore expresses his concerns towards the potential drug dependence induced by regular use of some medicine and the withdrawal effects that some of the treatments come with. Mr. Moore is a senior scientist for drug safety and policy at the nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices located in Alexandria, VA.
Some people strongly believe that while lunching on prescription medicine, regularly prescribed by primary care physicians, rather than psychiatrists, the patients do not address their mental health issues properly which may, in fact, be a contributing factor to the drug abuse issues across the U.S.
Together with a colleague from Risk Sciences International in Ottawa, Thomas Moore used the results gathered in 2013 to calculate the percentage of the adult population using sedatives, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and sleep aids.
As it turned out, 2 percent had previously taken antipsychotic drugs, 8 percent were using anxiety medicine, and 12 percent filled prescriptions for antidepressants. However, it seems that Caucasians were twice as predisposed to using these medications as opposed to the African-American population and Hispanics. At the same time, the study showed that only 5 percent of Asians reported taking medication for mental health issues. All things considered, it is yet unclear why the Caucasian population is more likely to take these medications.
Furthermore, the use of these drugs increased with age. Also, according to the study, women filled more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs than men.
On the list of the most popular psychiatric medications, six out of ten were antidepressants such as Celexa, Desyrel, Zoloft, Prozac, Cymbalta, and Lexapro. Furthermore, the most popular anxiety drugs were Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin. Even though not a medicine for anxiety, many people also used large doses of the sleeping aid Ambien.
The results of the study were published on Monday, December 12th, in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
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