Records and paper trails of prescribed medications within the U.S. show that as use of opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin soared in the 2000’s, so too did the use of opioids and benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, which can be attributed to the fact that opioid users discovered that tranquilizers could enhance their “high”.
Data of Opioids and Benzodiazepines
Data given in journals such as “MedPage Today” show that once more these drugs are on the rise, as prescriptions have risen from 80 million in 2006 to 94 million in 2013. The sad truth is that due to the mixing of opioids and benzodiazepines, many Americans are dying year after year as a direct result. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lethal mixture showed up in 30% of the 16,652 overdose deaths involving painkillers in 2010.
Unfortunately due to the objectives of large drug companies and their marketing schemes, it seems the days of obsession over tranquilizers (like that of the 60’s and 70’s with Librium and Valium) are repeating themselves. One concern is the question of whether primary care physicians are actually utilizing the proper amount of time to monitor patients carefully or if they’re simply writing prescriptions haphazardly. More and more it seems Americans are continually being put on medications for pain, sleep disorders, and depression. The problem is that many of these drugs are supposed to be for coping during the short-term, but patients wind up being hooked on them for years.
Just How Deadly is it?
If anyone has doubts about just how lethal this combination can be, here’s a frightening fact for those sceptic: In January of 2014 the state of Ohio ran out of traditional drugs used in state executions due to European manufacturers shutting down as protest against capital punishment. So, what did the state use instead? The state opted for a lethal mix of opioids and benzodiazepines to use as a “stand-in” when their traditional execution drug was not available. It’s hard to dispute the severity of such drugs when a state within the U.S. is using it to guarantee the scheduled death of an inmate on death row.
Many argue that the reasoning behind the upsurge in such drugs has to do with the kickbacks doctors and medical societies receive from drug companies in turn for promoting more liberalized use of the drugs for people with any kind of pain. What’s scarier is that hardly any scientific research can actually show evidence that suggests opioids are even effective for chronic pain, and even less evidence exists to warrant combining opioids plus benzodiazepines to battle pain, yet here we are, going on 65 years of a campaign effort by the drug companies targeting us through their marketing efforts so as to push us toward these drugs more and more.
What Should You Do If You Know Someone Who is Suffering?
If you or someone you know struggles with chronic pain, sleep disorders, or depression, please know there are better things to turn to than opioids and/or benzodiazepines. Getting in touch with a substance abuse counselor can be the best way to find out suggestions for alternative medicine, especially holistic treatments that are more suitable for a sustainable healthy lifestyle. If you or a loved one is already addicted, don’t wait, reach out for help today via helpline, online chat, or walk-in center. This article covers the grave risks of mixing such pain killers, do not let yourself or someone else be the next person to fall victim to the evils of prescription drugs. Help is available, but you must take that first step in reaching out for it.
Fauber, J., & Fiore, K. (2014, February 25). Killing Pain: Benzo ‘Boost’ Can Be Deadly. Retrieved December 09, 2016, from http://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/specialreports/44479 .gov/
By: Samantha F.