Less than half of children received any therapy within 3 months — ScienceDaily

Children are struggling with mental health issues more now than perhaps ever before, though the treatment available — therapy, drugs, or both — differs widely from state to state.

Using a national database of insurance claims, Princeton University researchers investigated the type of treatment adolescents — most of whom were around the average age of 12 and suffering from anxiety or depression — receive after a first episode of mental illness.

Less than half of children received any therapy within three months, and 22.5% of children received only drug therapy, the researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Of the children receiving drugs, 45% were prescribed strong, addictive drugs in the benzodiazepine class (like Valium or Xanax), tricyclic antidepressants, or drugs that were not FDA-approved for use in children as a first line of treatment.

The findings occur even in ZIP codes that are

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