Benzodiazepines: America’s ‘other prescription drug problem’
May 3, 2018
A recent essay in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Our Other Prescription Drug Problem” highlights massive growth in the use and abuse of benzos in the U.S., including the fact that the number of deaths attributed to benzodiazepine overdose has risen sevenfold over the past two decades.
That’s not altogether surprising when you consider that the number of prescriptions written for benzodiazepines increased 67 percent to 13.5 million per year in 2013 from 8.1 million in 1999.
While death rates and prescriptions for opioids still substantially outnumber those for benzos, it’s combinations of the two types of drugs that are particularly fatal.