The benzodiazepine problem

My colleagues Nambi J. Ndugga, Elsa Pearson, and Melissa Garrido have a piece out in Axios today on the challenges posed by benzodiazepines (BZDs).

In the U.S., deaths associated with BZDs like Xanax and Valium have increased from 135 in 1999 to over 11,500 in 2017. The dangers of misusing these potentially addictive drugs are particularly acute for adults over 50, who have experienced the largest increase in BZD prescriptions. […] One-third of older adults’ BZD prescriptions are for long durations, often prescribed for insomnia and other sleep disturbances. This raises the risks of falls, fractures, motor vehicle accidents, addiction and dementia in an already vulnerable population.

Go read the whole thing. It’s short because its Axios. Research for the piece was supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.


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