Claims are more than twice what they were a decade ago and the increase is driven by young adults and teens.
Substance abuse and mental health insurance claims have spiked over the last decade, more than doubling during that time, said a new report. Moreover, the driving force behind this staggering growth rate is young adults and teens.
The report was published in May by FAIR Health, a nonprofit health care organization.
The report showed that rates of anxiety and depression among Americans of all ages have been rising over the last ten years. This is particularly striking among teens and young adults. In fact, even children are being brought to hospital emergency rooms for psychiatric care on an increasing basis.
Substance abuse and mental health insurance claims include those for issues related to depression and anxiety. That said, they are also going for conditions relating to those mental illnesses such as cutting and other forms of self injury.
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Suicide rates are also on the rise. Self-poisoning rates have risen explosively among teenage girls. This increase has paralleled the opioid epidemic affecting Americans across the country. Over 72,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2017. That was double the figure from 2007, said the report.
Experts find the rate of substance abuse and mental health insurance claims to be worrying.
Mental illness experts have cautioned that the rising rates of substance abuse and of mental illness may be an indicator of a serious problem. That said, they have also warned that the figures should be monitored carefully as different data collection methods were used in this most recent report when compared to the one produced ten years ago. With different data collection methods, it is difficult to know if a true measure of change has been achieved, said a Philly.com article on the report.
Beyond the rates of mental health insurance claims and substance abuse claimscollected, more has been taken into consideration. For instance, mental illness experts pointed out that with reduced stigma, there is a difference in the inclination to report conditions. Furthermore, insurance policyholders are more willing to accurately report their conditions than they were in the past when the stigma was higher.