One in six adults regularly use psychiatric drugs. Most of these people have taken these drugs for at least one year. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are two of the most popular medications. This information is based on 2013 survey data taken from 37,421 adults.
Thomas J. Moore is a researcher at the Institute for Safe Medical Practices. He is one of the people who analyzed the data. He stated that he knew that the percentage of people using psychiatric drugs would be high. However, in some populations, the rates are much higher than the national average.
Twenty percent of women in the study filled a prescription for a psychiatric drug within the past month. This is nearly twice as high as the number of men who filled psychiatric drug prescriptions. Whites are two times more likely to use the drugs than Hispanics or blacks. Eighty-five percent of the people in the study had filled the psychiatric drug prescriptions several times over the course of a year.
Dr. Mark Olfson is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. He stated that the results of the study prove that using psychiatric drugs to control emotional problem is becoming more acceptable. Celexa and Zoloft, which are antidepressants, were two of the most commonly prescribed drugs. Ambien and Xanax, which are often used to treat sleeping problems and anxiety, were the second most commonly-prescribed psychiatric drugs.
Side Effects of Psychiatric Drugs
All psychiatric drugs come with side effects. Panic attacks and sleeping problems are some of the side effects that are associated with psychiatric drug use. Furthermore, many people experience withdrawal symptoms after they stop using this drug. The prescription of the drugs is strongly-regulated in most countries because of the risk of serious side effects. Because of the risk of withdrawal side effects, people are advised from stopping these medications without consulting with their physician.
The older a person is, the more likely he or she is to use psychiatric drugs. Twenty-five percent of people who are over the age of 65 use psychiatric drugs. Only 9 percent of patients who are between the ages of 18 and 39 use psychiatric drugs. Eighteen percent of adults who are between the ages of 40 and 59 use psychiatric drugs.
Many doctors are concerned about this. Older people are actually less likely to be diagnosed with mental problems. However, they are more likely to be diagnosed with insomnia.
Most older people are prescribed psychiatric drugs by their primary care physician. They may prescribe psychiatric drugs for things like mild depression and insomnia. Dr. Olfson has stated that doctors have to be mindful when they are prescribing drugs to people who are in this age group. It is important to remember that psychiatric drugs are not benign medications.
Thomas noted that the data has some limitations. For example, the data only had a year’s worth of information. Therefore, it can be difficult to determine how long the patients were actually using the medication.
Thomas Moore has some tips that will help people safely take the drugs. He recommends that doctors prescribe patients the lowest effective dosage. He also recommends that patients reassess the patients’ needs and adjust the dosage as needed.
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