Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

February 27, 2018

Benzodiazepine Harms Overlooked, Especially in Older Adults (Medscape Article)

 

Nora MacReady, February 22, 2018

“As attention remains focused on opioid abuse, another drug epidemic rages outside the spotlight: inappropriate prescription of benzodiazepines.

In an editorial published in the February 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Anna Lembke, MD, Jennifer Papac, MD, and Keith Humphreys, PhD, from Stanford University School of Medicine in California, point out that from 1996 to 2013, the number of adults who filled a benzodiazepine prescription rose from 8.1 million to 13.5 million, an increase of 67%. During roughly the same time (1999-2015), deaths from benzodiazepine overdose increased from 1135 to 8791.

‘Despite this trend, the adverse effects of benzodiazepine overuse, misuse, and addiction continue to go largely unnoticed,’ they write.

Concurrent opioid use figured in three quarters of the overdoses, ‘which may explain why, in the context of a widely recognized opioid problem, the harms associated with benzodiazepines have been overlooked,’ the editorialists state. They cite data showing that coprescription rates nearly doubled between 2001 and 2013, going from 9% to 17%.”

Here is the link…

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