Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults with disabilities surveyed during February and March reported adverse mental health symptoms or substance use early this year, compared with about one-third of adults without disabilities, according to a report released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Serious suicidal ideation was about 2.5 times as high among adults with disabilities. Past-month substance use also was higher among adults with disabilities (40.6%) than without (24.5%).  
 
“These findings suggest value in enhanced mental health screening among adults with disabilities and in ensuring accessibility of routine and crisis services, particularly given that many adults reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had reduced mental health and substance use care or medication accessibility,” the authors said. 
 
In other news, CDC released the first multistate report to examine recent trends in overdoses involving benzodiazepines, which shows emergency department visits for overdoses involving benzodiazepines increased 23.7% from 2019 to 2020. The authors of the study noted that these trends highlight the need to enhance efforts to mitigate harm from simultaneously using benzodiazepines and opioids, including educational efforts to emphasize the dangers of using illicit benzodiazepines. 
 

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