Psychiatric medication use among Manhattan residents following the World Trade Center disaster

J Trauma Stress. 2003 Jun;16(3):301-6. doi: 10.1023/A:1023708410513.


To assess medication use in New York after the September 11th attacks, a telephone survey was conducted in October 2001 (N = 1,008). The prevalence of psychiatric medication use 30 days before the disaster was 8.9 and 11.6% 30 days after, a small but significant increase. The most important factor predicting postdisaster use was predisaster use--92% of those who used medications postdisaster used them predisaster. In addition, 3.3% used psychiatric medications 30 days postdisaster, but not 30 days before. Those who had panic attacks, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and insurance coverage, were the most likely medicated (26.5%). However, among those who used postdisaster medications (n = 129), new users tended to be those with panic attacks (44.1%) and those with panic attacks and PTSD (69.2%).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aircraft*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Panic Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Panic Disorder / etiology
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / drug therapy*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Terrorism*
  • Urban Population


  • Psychotropic Drugs