Necessity of behavioral health medications raised by pandemic era

Necessity of behavioral health medications raised by pandemic era


The new study conveys a rise in the usage of ADHD drugs during the epidemic probably caused a shortage of drugs (medicine) that still irritate patients and doctors nowadays. As per the reports, the epidemic, the effect of COVID-19 affected the availability of treatment and raised the need of the behavioral health services. The study was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry on date January 10, 2024.

What does study say?

The study main objective is to evaluate variations in incident prescriptions issued for the medications that are often prescribed to treat opioid use disorder (OUD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, and anxiety both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Impact on ADHD medication prescriptions

When the pandemic initially emerged in March 2020, the number of new prescriptions for stimulants, which cure the condition, jumped for youths and women in specifically. As per the research findings, prescriptions for non-stimulant ADHD medications for individuals of all ages also climbed.

Prescription flexibility included deductions, which enabled practitioners to provide substances that are controlled, Schedule II (c-II) to Schedule V medications by telemedicine services to patients with no in-person analysis and also to patients who were out of the state. Initial measures were carried out to help in the improvement of availability of medications such as buprenorphine, benzodiazepines, and C-II stimulants.

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Factors, which contributed to the increase

Factors (or stressors) like stay-at-home instructions, online learning & schooling, and financial difficulties have led to an increase in the number of children and young people who experience signs of major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and ADHD. Also cause a raise in rate of suicide and opioid-related overdose fatal accidents or deaths, which aroused the worries about disturbance in the cure of behavioral health. The consumption of medicines for disorders related to behavioral health was impacted by these factors which also involve rising in the needs for behavioral health, obstacles to healthcare and the flexibility of telemedicine prescription.

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Issue of Broader drug shortage

Despite the ADHD medications, more than 300 medication shortages were reported in the US last autumn, indicating a large issue. While trying to figure out the future demand for the medications, federal officials have to limit the supply of some ADHD stimulant treatments or therapies as they are classified into the restricted substances.

  • Original source: the journal JAMA Psychiatry

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