Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 301–306

Psychiatric Medication Use Among Manhattan Residents Following the World Trade Center Disaster


    • Division of Health and Science PolicyNew York Academy of Medicine
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, New Jersey Health Care SystemResearch Service
  • Sandro Galea
    • New York Academy of MedicineCenter for Urban Epidemiologic Studies
    • Department of EpidemiologyColumbia University, Mailman School of Public Health
  • Jennifer Ahern
    • New York Academy of MedicineCenter for Urban Epidemiologic Studies
  • Heidi Resnick
    • National Crime Victims' Research and Treatment CenterMedical University of South Carolina
  • David Vlahov
    • New York Academy of MedicineCenter for Urban Epidemiologic Studies
    • Bloomberg School of Public HealthJohns Hopkins University

DOI: 10.1023/A:1023708410513

Cite this article as:
Boscarino, J.A., Galea, S., Ahern, J. et al. J Trauma Stress (2003) 16: 301. 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%).

pharmaceuticalsposttraumatic stress disorderdisasterspanic attackservice utilization

Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 2003