The number of prescriptions being filled to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia is on the rise during the pandemic, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts reported the number of prescriptions filled per week for these medications rose 21% between February 16 and March 15.
Some experts are warning about the possibility of long-term addiction and abuse of these medications. “Many physicians have a low threshold for prescribing them. It’s very problematic,” said Bruce J. Schwartz, Deputy Chair and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. “Many people do develop a dependency on these medications.”
Glen Stettin, M.D., Senior Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer at Express Scripts, said Americans have grown increasingly anxious during the pandemic. “We’re all concerned about our health, our families and our livelihoods, and are struggling with uncertainty,” he said in a news release. “This analysis, showing that many Americans are turning to medications for relief, demonstrates the serious impact COVID-19 may be having on our nation’s mental health.”
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