Nearly 20% of Americans Use Psychiatric Drugs Every Year

Psychiatric drug use is on the rise, study reports.

When Kanye West was hospitalized for a psychiatric medical breakdown, mental illness was placed in the forefront as millions of Americans watched, via social media, the mental breakdown of of the biggest entertainers of 2016. And while we will not know what really happened to one of music’s biggest recording artists until the new season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, prescription drug use is currently being used now more than ever.

Kanye West
Stock Photo: NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 3: Kanye West is seen exiting her hotel on September 3, 2016 in New York City. (Liam Goodner /

According to a new research study, 1 in 6 Americans use psychiatric drugs. That number has increased in comparison to a 2011 SAMHSA study which found 11.5% of Americans taking psychiatric drugs.

In fact, the research study found Caucasians, women and older patients were more likely to be taking psychiatric drugs. In fact, 21% of whites reported taking psychiatric drugs that is nearly twice as many black adults (9.7%), and 4 times as many Asian adults (4.8%).

The psychiatric drug use study also found women were also more likely to say they were taking psychiatric prescription drugs as 21% of women and 12% of men reported taking psychiatric drugs. Psychiatric drug use also increases as Americans get olders.

The lead researchers also discovered Americans who start taking psychotic prescription medications end up taking the medication for a long period of time. In fact, 84.3% American psychiatric drug users had at least 10 prescriptions for psychiatric drugs.

The study, which was published in “JAMA Internal Medicine” and studied by Thomas Moore, AB and Donald Mattison, MD, analyzed over 300,000 prescription records from over 37,000 adults ages 18 to 85 years old. The details of the study found that antidepressants were the most prescribed medication, followed by sedatives, and antipsychotics. In addition, Zoloft, Celexa and Xanax were the three most prescribed psychiatric drugs.

Mattison and Moore ultimately explained, “Safe use of psychiatric drugs could be improved by increasing emphasis on prescribing these agents at the lowest effective dose and systematically reassessing the need for continued use.”


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