Officials Warn On Xanax and Other Benzodiazepines
America’s next drug crisis is already in the early stages. While the opioid crisis is claiming lives all across the country, another class of drugs – Xanax, Valium and Klonopin, are starting to be widely abused.
As reported by the Daily Chronicle, imagine it were possible to return to the time before opioid use soared in the U.S. – to the early 1990s, before so many doctors came to overprescribe Oxycontin, Vicodin and the like for every imaginable kind of pain; before millions became addicted; before prescription opioid users switched to heroin and deadly street fentanyl.
Back then, the crisis might have been nipped in the bud.
Today, the U.S. may stand at another such moment. Its next huge drug problem seems likely to be benzodiazepines.
Like opioids, benzodiazepines also are purposely abused by some – to strengthen the kick of an opioid high or, on their own, to induce a stupor such as drunkenness. There’s even a highly potent black-market product that’s manufactured, as street fentanyl is, in underground labs: clonazolam, a counterfeit Xanax-Klonopin combination. As with fentanyl, a tiny amount can cause overdose.
To stop this epidemic in its tracks will take the kind of concerted push that has so far been lacking against opioids. States need to strengthen their prescription databases, and see that doctors check them to avoid writing benzodiazepine prescriptions for people who either already have them or are taking opioids.
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To read more about how the next wave drugs is poised to be abused at scale, please visit the Daily Chronicle.