Anxiety drugs are causing overdoses and death; buyer beware.
Prescription drug deaths continue to be a theme in the USA, with anxiety drugs being a leading category that is causing deaths. This is partly due to the changing role our psychiatrists are playing in our society. Years ago, psychiatrists would use a combination of pharmacotherapy and talk therapy, but due to the higher profits made by prescribing, since it allows them to see many more patients, they can make more.
If you are seeing a psychiatrist, you are most likely to be treated medicinally, yet many people who have anxiety require talk therapy, which is offered by psychologists who see patients weekly or sometimes more often.
Who you see first is likely to affect how you are treated. If you see a psychologist, they are going to try to help you discover why you are anxious, and the self realization will help you deal with future stressors in a healthier fashion. Seeing a psychiatrist first will result in a prescription and then maybe then a referral for talk therapy. This begs the question; dealing with the problem or medicating it or both.
Apparently, it is deadlier to take the meds, especially when they are improperly dosed, and the meds result in dependence. While psychologists may also create dependencies, a good psychologist is likely to help you help yourself better than a psychiatrist, by avoiding drugs.
Check out this recent NY Times article regarding this disturbing trend and anxiety drugs.
More Overdose Deaths From Anxiety Drugs
By Roni Caryn Rabin February 25, 2016
Fatal prescription-drug overdoses in the United States have increased sharply in recent years. But while most of the deaths have involved opioid painkillers like oxycodone, a new study suggests that anti-anxiety medications now are playing an outsize role in overdose deaths.
The number of Americans filling prescriptions for anti-anxiety drugs “” benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax that are used to treat anxiety, panic disorders and insomnia “” increased 67 percent between 1996 and 2013, the study found. But the rate of overdose deaths involving these drugs increased more than fourfold.
The analysis, published online last week in The American Journal of Public Health, found that 5.6 percent of American adults filled a benzodiazepine prescription in 2013, up from 4.1 percent in 1996. (The actual number of Americans filling a benzodiazepine prescription rose to 13.5 million in 2013, up from 8.1 million in 1996.)