The V is for Valhalla? –
Oct. 4, 2019 – A recent study from the University of Michigan found that over 30.6 million U.S adults reported using a Benzodiazepine last year. As the use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and Valium, is on the rise, so is the number of overdose deaths related to them. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention trial found that Benzodiazepines contributed to in 30% of prescription drug overdose deaths in 2013, second only to opioids, which were involved in 70% of overdose deaths.
And according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the number of people who required hospitalization due to benzodiazepines increased from 46,966 in 2005 to 89,310 in 2011 and over 185,000 people were hospitalized due to benzodiazepines in combination with opioids and/or alcohol.
In addition to the inappropriate use and over prescription of Benzodiazepines, another problem is that very few prescribing physicians like myself have ever heard of or been trained on how to deal with benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. If anything, most physicians have been falsely led to believe that using this class of drugs was relatively innocuous and quite safe. It is clear that the pharmaceutical industry had either underappreciated or understated the potential side effects until recently. This is especially true when it comes to their use in the elderly.