Recent research has shown that psychiatric drugs are quite common among Americans as many of them have dealt with mental health issues. More precisely, roughly one in six American adults took prescribed psychiatric drugs more than once.
A group of experts from the Institute of Safe Medication Practices conducted a survey during which they concluded that 16.7 percent out of the total 242 million Americans filled at least one psychiatric drug prescription in 2013.
The researchers discovered that twelve percent of the participants said that they took antidepressants. Also, eight percent took sleeping pills, sedatives, and anxiety drugs, whereas 1.6 percent took special antipsychotic treatment, which is usually prescribed for serious disorders such as schizophrenia.
By dividing the data into groups, the team found a substantial difference in ethnicity and race. Among Hispanic adults, just 8.7 percent reported taking psychiatric drugs compared to white adults out of which 20.8 percent took antidepressants.
In addition, approximately nine percent of African-Americans reported taking psychiatric drugs. Even if the team didn’t try to find the reason for that distinction between ethnicity and race, previous studies reveal that minorities don’t have the best access to mental health care.
On the other hand, it is easier for white adults to benefit from mental health medication. This disparity is caused by stigma and because there are fewer health care providers than required. During the study, the experts accounted for the number of prescriptions, not the reason why patients needed those psychiatric drugs.
Since the data collected by scientists covered just a one-year national survey, it means that the number of people who have taken these drugs at least once in their lives might be even higher than estimated.
However, scientists explain that filling prescriptions doesn’t mean that the participants took these psychiatric drugs after all. According to the statistics, roughly 1 in 5 Americans will suffer from mental health issues, and many of these adults feel that others don’t understand them.
Recent research has shown that stigma is one of the main factors preventing people from seeking help. Also, the current statistics point to the fact that mental conditions have become more prevalent over the past few years.
More precisely, the use of psychiatric drugs indicates that the mental health issues represent a serious public health concern which cannot be ignored.
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