Every year, thousands of people around the United States receive a prescription for a psychoactive substance, which could lead to addiction if misused. Although the most infamous of these drugs are opioid painkillers, which have led to an epidemic of abuse and overdose, there are many other prescription substances with the potential to be addictive and dangerous. Other than opioids, some of the most harmful types of prescription drugs are benzodiazepines. These sedatives quickly lead to the development of tolerance, physical dependence, and are associated with a potentially severe withdrawal syndrome. Many people who misuse these drugs quickly develop compulsive behaviors associated with addiction.
Prescription drug abuse is a problem even in small cities like Gardena, California, one of the numerous suburban areas around Los Angeles. In 2016, about 0.7% of drug treatment admissions cited benzodiazepines as the primary substance of abuse, which was slightly higher than the 0.5% rate in 2015. This either indicates that more people are seeking help or that more people are struggling with benzodiazepine abuse.
There were also more calls to poison control about these medications—25.3% of calls in 2015 involved benzodiazepines compared to 27.8% in 2016. However, these sedatives were found much less often in overdose deaths. In 2016, there were only 20 reports of benzodiazepines in toxicology reports from the medical examiner compared to 145 the previous year.1
Many prescription medications are potent and risky, so it is important to follow doctors’ instructions when they prescribe medication to you. If you suffer from addiction to a drug like Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, or another benzodiazepine, call our helpline today. A recovery advisor can provide you with information about effective treatment options for benzodiazepine abuse as well as many other types of substance addiction.
There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time.