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 Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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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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Title   Content   Author is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on