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The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

By Nirmita Panchal, Rabah Kamal, Cynthia Cox, and Rachel Garfield

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The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, a share that has been largely consistent, up from one in ten adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019 (Figure 1). “

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