Taking medication for a mental health issue is common, study shows.
Approximately one in six Americans has taken a prescribed psychiatric drug such as antidepressants at least once. And, most psychiatric drug use reported by adults was long-term.
Researchers found 16.7% of 242 million U.S. adults reported filling one or more psychiatric drug prescriptions in 2013.
The researchers discovered that 12% of people take antidepressants, 8% take anxiety drugs, sedatives or sleeping pills and 1.6% take an antipsychotic medication, commonly used for conditions like schizophrenia.
They also analyzed the data into groups, revealing differences by race and ethnicity.
Large differences were found in race and ethnicity, with 20.8% of white adults reporting use versus 8.7% of Hispanic adults. It was also states that about 9% of African-American adults reported taking at least one psychiatric medication.
Although the researchers didn’t investigate why these differences exists, previous research shows minorities often receive inferior mental health treatment compared with white individuals.
The study only looked at the number of psychiatric prescriptions, not why people were taking them. The study authors theorized that the number of people using these medications may even be underestimated, because data was limited to one year of a self-reported survey.
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