Almost Half of Americans Take At Least One Prescription Drug
Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase
- Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44% to 48%. The use of two or more drugs increased from 25% to 31%. The use of five or more drugs increased from 6% to 11%.
- In 2007-2008, 1 out of every 5 children and 9 out of 10 older Americans reported using at least one prescription drug in the past month.
- Those who were without a regular place for health care, health insurance, or prescription drug benefit had less prescription drug use compared with those who had these benefits.
- The most commonly used types of drugs included: asthma medicines for children, central nervous system stimulants for adolescents, antidepressants for middle-aged adults, and cholesterol lowering drugs for older Americans.
In the United States, spending for prescription drugs was $234.1 billion in 2008, which was more than double what was spent in 1999 (1). As new drugs are introduced and new uses for old drugs are found, more patients can have improved health and quality of life with the appropriate use of prescription drugs. Current prescription drug use patterns need to be better understood. This report provides an overview of current prescription drug use in the United States, how many and what kinds of drugs are currently being prescribed, and who receives them.
One in Five Americans Takes a Psychiatric Drug
A recent study reported that 1 in 5 American adults takes at least one psychiatric drug to treat depression and/or anxiety, a 22 percent increase since 2001. Do you get what this means? This means that in an office of 100 people, 20 of them – enough to form an entire department – will be on medication.
In the average family of 2 parents and 2 1/2 kids, one of them will eventually take psychiatric drugs. At your next high school reunion of 1,000 graduates, 200 of them will be on mind-altering drugs.
Isn’t that shocking?
Dramatic Rise In Psychiatric Drug Abuse Over The Last Decade
Medco Health Solutions Inc., a pharmacy benefit manager, just released a report finding that psychiatric drug abuse in the USA has risen starkly in the past decade. The Wall Street Journal did a story on this report, Psychiatric Drug Use Spreading. The most startling figure to come out of this report is the fact that fully 20 %, or 1 in every 5 Americans, are on a psychiatric drug at this point in time. That’s a lot of ‘mental illness’, that’s a lot of drug abuse!
Among the most striking findings was a big increase in the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs across all ages, as well as growth in adult use of drugs for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder—a condition typically diagnosed in childhood. Use of ADHD drugs such as Concerta and Vyvanse tripled among those aged 20 to 44 between 2001 and 2010, and it doubled over that time among women in the 45-to-65 group, according to the report.
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