Estimates show that in the United States approximately 85,000 individuals survive gun injuries, while another 40,000 are killed by guns annually. New research has found that the consequences of gun violence extend far beyond the damage caused by the injury. Long-term repercussions include substance-use disorders, worsened mental health and increase in healthcare costs incurred for survivors as well as increased mental health conditions for their significant others and children.
The study was carried out by researchers at Harvard Medical School. Its findings were reported in the “Annals of Internal Medicine.” This is the first quasiexperimental, large-scale study to look into the financial and health impact of gun violence over a 12-month period. It is also one of the first studies to quantify how families of gunshot survivors are impacted in regard to their health.
For their study, the researchers analysed decade-old patient records. They discovered that individuals who survived gunshot injuries had a heightened risk of developing substance-use disorders, mental health disorders and pain in the year after the injury. They also found that those who survived firearm injuries paid about $2,490 more in health care every month in comparison with their clinically and demographically matched peers. This discovery suggests that direct health-care costs on account of those injuries equal more than $2 billion in the first year alone.
In addition, the researchers found that gunshot survivors’ immediate family members also suffered tangible but indirect harms, with parents, children and significant others of the survivors showing an increased risk of mental health conditions, including PTSD, anxiety and depression.
Associate Professor Zirui Song of health-care policy at the Harvard Medical School stated that their research had shown that there were significant mental-health consequences for survivors as well as their family members following a shooting, in addition to the obvious physical repercussions of firearm wounds. Song, who is also a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, explained that understanding how gunshot injuries resounded across the lives of survivors and their families offered insights that could be used to provide patients with better care.
In their report, the researchers recommended that physicians be mindful of a heightened risk of substance-use disorders when treating pain caused by a firearm injury; they also noted that doctors should screen gunshot survivors as well as their family members for signs of mental health conditions. Song also added that it was important that preventative measures be taken to improve the safety of gunshot survivors.
This study confirms that there is a huge pool of gunshot survivors plus their familes that could be in dire need of mental-health treatment. With companies such as Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) working to develop superior mental-health medicines from psychedelics, the future of these patients could soon be brighter.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/SILO
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