Benzo deaths yet another example of overselling addictive drugs

Summary and Analysis…

This article and related video re-enforce the message that the problems caused by opioid prescription practices are not an anomaly. They are not limited to one or two bad-actor companies and a single class of drug but are a systemic problem intrinsic to the way drugs are marketed, prescribed and distributed.

Benzo’s, according to authoritative sources cited in the article, are another current drug crisis with overdoses and deaths on the rise.

This is a phenomenon that law enforcement, medical practitioners and drug addiction treatment professionals need to keep in mind. But, even more important, it is a pattern of behavior built in to the way Big Pharma operates.

Communities should keep this firmly front and center when deciding on Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) options for addressing the opioid crisis. The consistent pattern of Big Pharma has been to oversell their product benefits and grossly underreport the potential dangers.

Excerpted from NBC News

When Christy Huff developed a painful eye problem that led to insomnia, her doctor had a common solution— Xanax. She took the medication as directed.

One pill at night offered her some relief, but soon she began to experience anxiety, daytime terrors and tremors. Then, Huff had a startling realization. When she was off the Xanax she was going through withdrawal. And when she was on it “all of that just melted away,” she said.

In just three weeks, her body was dependent on Xanax.

“I don’t remember getting any warnings from doctors as far as addiction or dependence,” Huff, who is a cardiologist, told NBC News. “I was completely shocked at how sick I was.”

Xanax is part of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, sometimes called “benzos” for short. Benzodiazepines are sedatives used primarily to treat anxiety and sleeplessness. The class of drugs also includes Valium, Ativan and Klonopin.

Dr. Anna Lembke, chief of addiction medicine at Stanford University Medical Center, said complications from benzos, such as dependency and addiction, are fueling a hidden epidemic akin to the opioid crisis.