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Research Letter
February 2017

Adult Utilization of Psychiatric Drugs and Differences by Sex, Age, and Race

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Alexandria, Virginia
  • 2Risk Sciences International, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(2):1-2. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7507

Limited public information is available about the extent of the use of psychiatric drugs among the US adult population. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration used the Survey on Drug Use and Health to estimate that 11.5% of adults reported taking prescription medication for “problems with emotions, nerves, or mental health” in 2011.1(p92) However, the survey excerpt does not provide information on which specific medications were more commonly used or on estimated duration of use. We sought to characterize adult use of psychiatric drugs in the United States using publicly available, nationally representative data and explore differences by sex, age, and race/ethnicity.

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