Prescriptions for Anti-Anxiety Medicines Spike Amid Coronavirus: Report

April 21, 2020

More people across the United States are taking anti-anxiety medications as the coronavirus continues to spread.

New data from Express Scripts found that the number of prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications increased by more than one-third as COVID-19 takes a toll on mental health, reports the New York Post.

The most substantial spike in these prescriptions rose 34.1 percent from mid-February to mid-March. From February 16 to March 15, prescriptions for antidepressants rose 18.6 percent, while sleeping medications rose by 14.8 percent.

Express Scripts said the data shows that many people are turning to medications for relief. The numbers demonstrate the severe impact COVID-19 is having on the country's mental health, with many are worried about job loss, the health of their loved ones, and paying for bills.

As cases of the virus continue to climb across the country, mental health professionals are overwhelmed by people looking for extra support during this trying time.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stressed this month that "the mental health impact of this pandemic is very real." Earlier this month, in New York alone, more than 6,000 mental health professionals have offered up virtual services for those seeking extra help.

Non-profit mental health organization Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services reported more than 1,800 virus-related calls in March compared to just 20 the month before. The top issues people are citing include anxiety, health issues, relationship struggles, and loneliness amid isolation.

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