Xanax Death Rate Increasing
Opioid painkillers caused considerable damage for years now, and have been in the news for this reason. They have been over-prescribed, and there are disturbing statistics about the number of overdose deaths that they cause. All the while, there has been an epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths rising from another class of prescription medications: benzodiazepines. Anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax, that belong to the benzodiazepine drug class are increasingly prescribed for both pain and stress, and have become a public health concern. The Xanax death rate has exploded over the past year.
Understanding the Xanax problem
The Xanax epidemic isn’t new; research has found that it has been years in the making. A study by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York has followed the Xanax abuse problem over 18 years, and found that while doctors have been prescribing Xanax at ever-higher rates, the occurrence of deaths from Xanax overdose has risen at a rate that outstrips those prescription rates. To be specific, while prescription rates have risen only 67% over this period, the number of Xanax related deaths per year has multiplied sixfold.
Researchers haven’t yet uncovered the specific reasons why this should be so. One theory holds that while the number of prescriptions for Xanax given out hasn’t risen very quickly, the prescriptions that do get written are for very high quantities of the drug, and for longer periods of time.
It is also possible that patients combine Xanax doses with alcohol or other addictive drugs.
What should you do?
It’s important to understand that doctors today may make the mistake of prescribing these high-risk medications without proper consideration. Before you accept such a prescription, you should consider the risk of addiction; it would be a good idea to talk to the doctor about a risk assessment, and to ask about other methods first. Talk therapy, for instance, is known to be effective. If you already take Xanax, it’s important to review your prescription with your doctor.
It’s also important to be aware of the signs of addiction
Xanax is addictive, even when you follow a doctor’s prescription, and never use the drug in large quantities for recreational purposes. If you’ve been taking Xanax for a while, you should be on the lookout for signs of withdrawal when you stop taking it. It would be a good idea to test yourself for withdrawal symptoms once a month or so. If not using the drug for a couple of days makes you feel strange, you could be in trouble, and you could need treatment.
Withdrawal symptoms can include extreme anxiety, mental confusion, loss of consciousness tremors and seizures.
What do you do if you are addicted?
An escape from addiction to Xanax can be complicated. While no addiction is completely safe to quit cold turkey, Xanax can be particularly risky. There may be seizures and other life-threatening withdrawal symptoms involved, and they may last anything from 7 to 90 days.
It is a sensible plan to seek rehab at a center qualified for treatment of Xanax-related addictions. The detox process requires a gradual, well-planned taper, and medical attention to ensure treatment for the convulsions, gastrointestinal problems, and cardiac disturbances, that are known to occur.
In many cases, Xanax comes with psychological dependence, as well. Once the challenge of physical dependence fades away and the withdrawal symptoms come to an end, it’s important to find relapse prevention therapy. It is at such therapeutic treatment that one learns the psychological skills necessary to continue to stay off of Xanax for life.
If you would like to speak to an expert about a Xanax dependence problem, you only need to call White Sands Treatment at Fort Myers, at (877) 855-3470.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.