Benzodiazepine Abuse Increasing Drastically

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June 10, 2011

Benzodiazepine Abuse Increasing Drastically

A government study was released on Thursday June 9 stating that between the years of 1998 and 2008 the number of people who entered an addiction treatment center for benzodiazepine abuse tripled. Prescribed by a medical physician benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety, insomnia and individuals who suffer from seizures. Valium, Xanax, Ativan and Librium are a few drugs that are categorized as benzodiazepines and commonly abused.

According to the Mental Health Services Administration benzodiazepine abuse increased from 22,400 people in 1998 to over people to over 60,000 people in 2008. Pamela S. Hyde, a SAMSHA administrator says, “The misuse of benzodiazepines along with other prescription drugs is fueling the rise of treatment admissions.  Prescription drug misuse is dangerous and can even be deadly. Everyone has a role to play in helping to prevent prescription drug misuse. Simple steps such as locking up medications and proper disposal of unused medications are easy ways people can contribute to reducing the problem.”

While prevention is key to stopping addiction, for those who are already caught in the grips of addiction to benzodiazepines or any other drugs the best form of help is through addiction treatment. One of the problems that many people who try to become abstinent from the drug themselves is the painful withdrawal symptoms. It is common for someone to have all the intentions in the world to get sober only to find they are unable to handle the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that come with detox. Detoxing from benzodiazepines can be dangerous and should be done in a medically supervised detox followed by a stay in addiction treatment where working with therapists and certified addiction professionals can increase the chances of achieving long term sobriety.

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