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These Pills Could Be Next U.S. Drug Epidemic, Public Health Officials Say


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These Pills Could Be Next U.S. Drug Epidemic, Public Health Officials Say

July 18, 2018

By: Christine Vestal

 

Some key findings:

 

  • When taken in combination with painkillers or illicit narcotics, benzodiazepines can increase the likelihood of a fatal overdose as much as tenfold, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. On their own, the medications can cause debilitating withdrawal symptoms that last for months or years.
     
  • With heightened public awareness of the nation’s opioid epidemic, some state and local officials are insisting that these anti-anxiety medications start sharing some of the scrutiny.
     
  • “What we’re seeing is just like what happened with opioids in the 1990s,” she said. “It really does begin with overprescribing. Liberal therapeutic use of drugs in a medical setting tends to normalize their use. People start to think they’re safe and, because they make them feel good, it doesn’t matter where they get them or how many they use.”
     
  • The number of adults filling a benzodiazepine prescription increased by two-thirds between 1996 and 2013, from 8 million to nearly 14 million, according to a review of market data by Lembke and others in the New England Journal of Medicine. Despite the known dangers of co-prescribing painkillers and anti-anxiety medications, the rate of combined prescriptions nearly doubled between 2001 and 2013.
     
  • But a newly formed group of researchers and pharmacologists, the International Task Force on Benzodiazepines, wrote in an editorial that recent negative publicity has made it difficult for many doctors around the world to prescribe medications they consider essential.
     
  • In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the dangers of combining opioids and benzodiazepines. That prompted many doctors to force patients to choose one drug over the other without warning them about the potential symptoms of withdrawal such as seizures or even death, Huff said.
     
  • The benzo task force wrote in its editorial that it was developing research that it hoped would support preserving the drugs as a valuable part of the medical arsenal.

 

Seems like this article may actually be in response to the International Task Force on Benzodiazepines' recent work. For more on that group, see: 

 

International Task Force on Benzodiazepines 2018.

 

 

Edited by Shep
fixed spacing

CURRENTLY AWAY FROM THE FORUM

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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This "smells " more like an article written for the needs of big pharma

05/2013 Lyrica 100 mg / per day for pain + PGAD resulting from caesarian delivery11/2014 started to taper: 50 mg per day/ for one week then c/tafter one month reinstated at 50 mg /per days of 10 July 2015 drug free-

symptoms OCD

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I doubt it. Benzos in combination with pain drugs are dangerous. Plus, we know they're truly addictive.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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I agree. Unlike opioids, I think that benzos are not universally understood to be addictive. There is a good number of doctors who don't believe them to be truly addictive. "It's only addictive when you become addicted" is how most of the world seems to operate when it comes to benzos. I think most people want to believe that these pills will come to their rescue when needed without adversely affecting them. It's very hard to let go of that belief. I've always thought of opiates as being obviously addictive and benzos being sneakily addictive. Personally, I don't think anything touches the soulless, disabling and flat-out dangerous misery of a benzo withdrawal, but that's just my personal experience.

Prozac 1997- 2013, stopped after 1 month short-taper. 

Ativan  0.5mg intermittent use, end of 2010 - end of 2014

Ativan  up to 2-3mg/day Dec 2014/Jan 2015

Partial Valium crossover: down to 0.5mg/day Ativan and 10mg/day Valium (2015-2017)

(2/2018 - 10/2018, tapered down Valium from 10mg to 3.75mg Valium per day) (HOLDING at 3.75mg/day)

(10/2018) - Ativan 0.5mg a day (HOLDING @ 0.5mg since mid 2017)

11/2018 - Cut valium to 2.5mg a day

3/23/2019 - Cut Buspar from 20mg to 15mg/day (intense symptoms)

4/4/2019 - Updosed Buspar from 15mg to 17mg

4/13/2019 - Ativan - 0.48mg/day

4/17/2019 - Buspar down to 16mg/day

4/24/2019 - Buspar down to 15mg/day

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