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EMF Studies

27 December 2016

1 Out of Every 6 American Adults Takes Psychiatric Drugs

1 Out of Every 6 American Adults Takes Psychiatric Drugs
by Joe Graedon, People's Pharmacy,
15 December 2016

Tens of millions of Americans take anti-anxiety agents, antidepressants, sleeping pills and antipsychotic medications. Never stop such drugs suddenly!

The numbers are startling: one in six American adults has taken a psychiatric drug. This is the finding from a study reported in JAMA Internal Medicine (online, Dec. 12, 2016). The researchers reviewed data from 2013 on medical expenditures. Extrapolating from their calculations, we estimate that over 40 million Americans are likely taking psychiatric drugs.

Antidepressants, Anti-Anxiety Agents & Sleeping Pills Top the List:

They found that 12 percent of the people in the government survey took an antidepressant such as sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), trazodone (Desyrel), escitalopram (Lexapro), duloxetine (Cymbalta) or fluoxetine (Prozac). Approximately 8 percent relied on medication to treat anxiety or insomnia. Alprazolam (Xanax), zolpidem (Ambien) and clonazepam (Klonopin) were most frequently prescribed for those problems.
One of the Authors Comments:

We spoke directly with the lead author, Thomas J. Moore, about the significance of this study:

“I have safety concern that 84% reported long-term use. The problem is that 8 of the 10 most widely used drugs either have warnings about withdrawal symptoms, are DEA Schedule IV, or both. Both patients and physicians need to periodically re-evaluate the continued need for psychiatric drugs. In addition, patients need to understand that in many cases stopping the drug may seem to make the problem come back. But in fact it could be withdrawal or rebound symptoms that will resolve with awareness and careful tapering of the dose when quitting.

“As the study notes, I have previously studied zolpidem/Ambien and found that a majority of use did not comply with safety recommendations, including using only for short periods of time.”
Psychiatric Drugs Can Trigger Withdrawal Symptoms:

When anti-anxiety agents were first introduced, prescribers did not realize that such drugs could cause withdrawal symptoms. If patients complained of anxiety, panic, agitation, disorientation, insomnia, faulty memory, depression, muscle twitching, dizziness, headache, irritability, digestive upset, inability to concentrate or tremor, they were told that their underlying mental problems were returning. In other words, you were anxious before taking Valium or Xanax. The drugs worked great to control your symptoms. Now you have stopped the drugs and your symptoms have returned.

What doctors did not appreciate for years was that stopping a benzodiazepine-type drug could trigger all those symptoms regardless of any underlying psychological problems.

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