Study Shows 1 in 5 US Adults Are On Behavioral Health Medicines

More than 20 percent of American adults took at least one drug for conditions like anxiety and depression in 2010, according to an analysis of prescription data, including more than one in four women.

The report, released Wednesday by pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions Inc., says use of drugs for psychiatric and behavioral disorders rose 22 percent from 2001 to 2010. The medications are most often prescribed to women aged 45 or older, but their use among men and in younger adults has grown sharply.

In adults 20 to 44, use of antipsychotic drugs and treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder more than tripled. Use of anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax, Valium, and Ativan rose 30 percent from a decade ago.

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