• New report reveals an increase in demand for prescription medication since mid-March
  • The report says anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants, and sleeping medications top the list
  • It was also stated that stay-at-home orders are contributing to the increase in demand

A new research report has revealed an increase in demand for prescription sleep aids and tranquilizers as Americans come to grips with the uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 outbreak. According to Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit management organization, this only shows the seriousness of the impact of COVID-19 in the lives of Americans.

coronavirus pandemic is causing an increase in demand for prescription medication
coronavirus pandemic is causing an increase in demand for prescription medication Miguel Á. Padriñán - Pexels

Anti-Depressants And Anti-Anxiety Drugs

The report revealed that most of the demands are anti-anxiety drug prescriptions, which increased to 34.1% from mid-February to mid-March. This was followed by anti-depressants prescription demand that increased by as much as 18.6% while demand for sleeping medications increased by approximately 14.8%.

It was also revealed that around 78% of all the prescriptions filled during the peak week in March are reported to be new prescriptions. This means many Americans are now turning to prescription drugs for the first time as their inability to sleep, depression, and anxiety worsened. Express Scripts said that the analysis showing lots of Americans turning to medications for relief reveals the serious impact that COVID-19 may be having on the country’s mental health.

The authors of the report reveal the findings are not surprising, given the lingering doubts about the current situation. They also said that the increases in demand for prescription medication are logical because a lot of adults have become uneasy at seeing their lives overturned in just a short time.

A Negative Impact

In another report earlier this month, it was revealed 45% or about four in 10 adults believe coronavirus-related stress and worry are creating a negative impact on their mental health. This shows a considerable increase from the 32% who also felt the same in early March. The report was published by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A March poll by the American Psychiatric Association found that almost half of Americans are wary about the likelihood of contracting COVID-19. Around 62% of the respondents were concerned about a loved one contracting the deadly disease and becoming seriously ill.

Chaotic Situations Are Not Helping

In the meantime, protests are erupting in states like Michigan, New Jersey, California, and Ohio over the extension of stay-at-home measures that will last until May. Protesters are marching in both blue and red states, reportedly backed by powerful conservative allies in Washington DC. Angry over the extension of stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, protesters are starting to ignore social distancing guidelines and have filled the streets in many states.