Health Care

Gun violence survivors far more likely to have pain, substance use and psychiatric disorders: study

Gun violence survivors are far more likely to be diagnosed with pain and substance use and psychiatric disorders and suffer financial consequences after their firearm-related injury, a new study out Monday found.

In the first month following their firearm injury, gun violence survivors had pain diagnoses at 249 percent the rate of the study’s control group. They were also 200 percent more likely to suffer psychiatric disorders and 670 percent more likely to be diagnosed with substance use disorders, the Annals of Internal Medicine study reported. 

One year after their injury, survivors’ likelihood of pain diagnoses was still up 40 percent when compared with the control group. It was also up 51 percent for additional psychiatric disorders and 85 percent for additional substance use disorder diagnoses relative to the control group, the study showed. 

In addition to the physical and mental health consequences of gun violence, the injury also caused survivors an increase in financial burdens. Medical expenses rose by an average of $2,495 per person per month after the injury, marking a more than 400 percent increase compared with control participants. 

The study also found that family members of gun violence survivors suffered consequences as a result of the injury. 

Psychiatric diagnoses were up for family members by 18 percent in the month following the injury and 12 percent for the year after it relative to the control group.  

The study included 6,498 survivors with a control group of more than 32,000 people and 12,489 family members with a control group of more than 62,000 people.

Throughout the pandemic, violent crime rates have spiked across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the murder rate in the U.S. rose by 30 percent between 2019 and 2020, the largest single-year increase in more than a century and possibly the largest ever. 

On Sunday, a shooting in Sacramento, Calif., left six people dead. 

“The scourge of gun violence continues to be a crisis in our country, and we must resolve to bring an end to this carnage,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said that day.

Tags gun violence

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