Dr. O: “Help I am a Junkie!”(Addicted to Xanax)

Whether you know it or NOT, Xanax has been identified as one of the most popular abused prescription drugs.  The problem is, you can only get it from physicians so why is it so ubiquitous in our society?  I am convinced that some patient’s really need something for their “nerves.”  While others simply need a fix. How do we as physicians determine the difference?  This is the big dilemma with this drug.  Several weeks ago, we heard that Xanax’s cousin-Ativan was found in Whitney Houston’s autopsy. We need to find the doctor that gave this medication to her knowing her previous vulnerabilities.

Take a look at the video above: This guy was doing more than marijuana…

Most Common Benzodiazepines:

  • Xanax (Alprazolam)
  • Klonopin (Clonazepam)
  • Valium (Diazepam)
  • Ativan (Lorazepam)

These are all listed among the top 100 most prescribed drugs. Patients and drug addicts both love them.  They have a very high street value. There are relatively inexpensive in legal pharmacies.  They make patient’s feel really good.

The major function of these type of drugs in clinical practice is to reduce anxiety.  Boy do they do that function-but the problem is many people prefer to just stay relaxed all the time. These drugs usually work fast and can wear off in the short run, also. Many of my patients only get a few, for several months and should be taking them ONLY AS NEEDED.  You may say how can I control that. I do by simply limiting the amount I give every thirty days and limiting my refill authorizations.  These drugs are HIGHLY ADDICTIVE and can cause problems in many areas of a person’s life.

Signs Benzodiazepine Addiction:

  1. Psychomotor Retardation-patients can be slowed and have poor reaction times. This can lead to a lot of fatal accidents and other problems.
  2. Memory Impairment-Both short-term and long-term memory problems. Those addicted have a lot of problems remembering basic issues of life and existence.
  3. Disinhibition-People addicted or chronic users can become irritable, angry and down-right nasty. Sometimes persons being loose and uninhibited is a sign of BZD dependence. (benzodiazepine)
  4. Depression-This is a profound effect of these drugs and can lead to suicide.
  5. Dependence-A lot of people become dependent and don’t even know it.  You should always stay under the care of the doctor when taking any one of these drugs that can be lethal in overdose. They cause respiratory depression.
  6. Bad Withdrawal Problems-The withdrawal looks just like alcohol. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.
  7. Work Problems-Chronic absenteeism and numerous on the job mistakes are common.
  8. Family Problems-Money problems and sometimes issues with both physical and verbal abuse.

I don’t want to get to technical but if you know someone experiencing the above problems, you need to get them to the nearest emergency room for an evaluation.  In some instances, an inpatient admission for medical detoxification may even be appropriate. These drugs become even more deadly when mixed with alcohol or used while a woman is pregnant.  Please take this post serious and do what is needed for that family member or friend.-AN INTERVENTION!

Thanks for stopping by,


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