Typically, when we think about problems associated with physicians and overwhelming numbers of prescriptions, we consider the dangerous opioids that are feeding our public health crisis, but, as it turns out, another drug has gotten the attention of professionals. In recent news, researchers have announced a big boost in prescriptions for benzodiazepines, a collection of depressants that can alleviate insomnia and stress and (in some cases) prevent seizures. Although these drugs are typically used to help the mind, these same reports have also shown that the majority of people are using these medications to treat chronic pain (in the same manner as opioids). So, how severe is this increase in benzodiazepine prescriptions? Let’s take a closer look and find out some more information.
Typically, doctors prescribe benzodiazepines for short-term use, but these reports have shown that more and more people are using these drugs over a long period of time. While the number of benzodiazepine prescriptions boosted from 2003 to 2015, the rate of continuing prescriptions for these drugs increased by a staggering 50% from 2005 to 2015. Why is this a major problem for doctors? Simply put, benzodiazepines can trigger severe forms of abuse and addiction, just like opioids.
On Parr with Opioids
Dr. Sumit Agarwal (internist, primary care physician, and researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts) explains how many people aren’t aware of the similarities between benzodiazepines and opioids. As he reveals, these depressants are highly addictive and can severely constrict breathing. In fact, past studies have confirmed that benzodiazepine-related deaths increased eightfold from 0.6 out of 100,000 people (1999) to 4.4 (2015). As Dr. Agarwal reveals, those numbers translate to 10,000 to 12,000 deaths, all triggered from abuse or addiction from benzodiazepines.
Even more disturbing, Dr. Agarwal has revealed how a large number of these prescriptions are given to women. From 1996 to 2007, benzodiazepine-related deaths among women (ages 30 to 64) skyrocketed by a staggering 830%.
Seeking Treatment for Benzodiazepine Abuse or Addiction
In the wake of the continuously raging Opioid Epidemic, it is unfortunate to realize that another drug is starting to maintain its tight hold over the public. Although benzodiazepines can potentially help people endure physical or mental problems, you must remember that these drugs do have a potential for abuse or addiction and can possibly inflict tremendous harm on your mind and body.
If you, a friend, or loved one is suffering from a severe case of benzodiazepine abuse or addiction, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process detox and withdrawal and guide you through each step of the rehabilitation process to help you separate yourself from these substances. The time to take back control of your life is now.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn about how you can overcome your drug abuse or addiction problems today.