One In Six Americans Take Anti-Depressant

One in six Americans most likely take an antidepressant.

A team of researchers found that more than 16 percent of 242 million adults in the United States have filled one or more prescription for psychiatric drugs in 2013, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine.

Thomas Moore of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and his colleagues concluded that 20.8 percent of white adults reported taking one or more psychiatric drug, which was nearly double their Hispanic and black adult counterparts. Fewer than 5 percent of Asian-Americans reported taking the drugs.

Moore also found that people prescribed the medication are taking them long-term, a concern the researchers have for habit forming psychiatric drugs like Valium or Xanex.

"Most psychiatric drug use reported by adults was long term, with 84.3 percent having filled three or more prescriptions in 2013 or indicating that they had started taking the drug during 2011 or earlier,” the report said. “Prescribing information for the leading antidepressants includes limited information about appropriate duration of treatment. However, benzodiazepines have warnings about drug dependence, tolerance, withdrawal, and rebound symptoms.”

In a previous study, the researchers found that most long-term users on a specific psychiatric drug despite it being recommended for short-term use. Many patients were combing the medication with other central nervous systems depressants despite warnings.

Sourced from JAMA.