The number of Americans taking drugs for mental-health problems has risen sharply since 1996, according to a study by Sherry Glied of Columbia University in New York. 73% more adults and 50% more children were using the drugs and among adults over 65 and children the use of the drugs doubled. In 2006 16% of adults over 65 had some form of mental-health diagnosis. Around 7% of Americans with serious mental illness ended up in prison every year. Some of the increase is due to increased awareness of mental-health problems among doctors and the fact that more Americans now have health insurance. However, as unemployment rises people may lose their health insurance, leading to a fall in the number of prescriptions.
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