Prescription drug use for mental health up 12% in S.C., study shows

Updated: Apr. 23, 2021 at 10:46 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Many South Carolinians are turning to prescription drugs for mental health.

A study using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows one out of five people in the United States are taking medication to treat mental health, accounting for 65 million Americans.

In South Carolina, there’s a 12% increase since last August. The study shows roughly 23% of people took prescription drugs for mental health in the last month.

But the Palmetto State isn’t the only state to see an increase. In fact, 18 states are seeing a 10% to 20% increase since last year.

Sandy Quast, a licensed professional counselor with Coastal Haven Counseling, said the issue is demand, and for some finding a way to help while waiting for an appointment.

“Scheduling is a challenge so if someone has a job and can only come certain days and times of the week and certain therapy, places have wait lists. They are narrowed to available searches for actual counseling,” Quast said.

Little River Medical Center pharmacy director Kris Chiplinski said adults aren’t the only ones impacted, but kids too.

Some resources for mental health include:

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

National Alliance on Mental Illness

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