Among ER Visits, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues are Prominent

Statistics from 2007 emergency room visits have been compiled, and 12 million of those visits (roughly one in eight) involved substance abuse, mental health, or both, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Depression was the most frequent concern, followed by anxiety disorders and alcohol-related problems. While accounting for one eighth of all ER visits, mental health and substance abuse visits were more than twice as likely to require admission to the hospital. These statistics underscore the importance of providing those with mental health and substance abuse issues effective therapy and treatment. Ideally, therapy and prevention could reduce the number of people who find themselves in crisis situations that end up in the emergency room.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

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  • Kris


    July 21st, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    if there were more services available then these people would not have to abuse er services in that way- I am not saying that they do not need th treatment but maybe money should go toward something that could help them better? ER services don’t seem like that would be the ebst kind off it for either mental health or substance abuse services.

  • Natasha N

    Natasha N

    July 21st, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Don’t you think this high rate of substance abuse and depression coincides with the onset of the recession that we are still reeling under?!

  • alister M

    alister M

    July 22nd, 2010 at 2:19 AM

    I agree with you,Natasha.The recession has indeed taken its toll on the mental health of a lot of people due to loss of jobs or even due to longer work hours and i do not see any way to escape from this.

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