AAC Chief Medical Director, Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, penned an op-ed describing the risks associated with long-term benzodiazepine use and when to be concerned.
Xanax is the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine in the country and one of the top 25 most prescribed medications. Patients often receive this medication to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, panic attacks and insomnia. A 2018 study found that 1 in 8 adults used benzodiazepines in the past year.
Because an abundance of prescriptions are filled for this class of medication each year, it’s important to understand the risks that may be associated with its use.
Benzodiazepines are meant to be a short-term course, but many people stay on this medication for some time. Extended use of this drug can lead to tolerance, physical dependence, and potential addiction, and quitting this drug cold turkey can be detrimental to a person’s health.
Dr. Weinstein also supplies a list of questions that people should refer to if they think they may have increased tolerance or dependence on the drugs.
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