Saturday, February 4, 2023

Benzodiazepines: Our Other Prescription Drug Epidemic

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From STAT: Although benzodiazepines are some of the most commonly prescribed psychiatric medications in the U.S., few people realize how dangerous and addictive these drugs can be. "Highly...

Psychotropics Drive Record 4.02 Billion U.S. Prescriptions in 2011

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With drugs for ADHD increasing 17%, and an "unprecedented increase in patients taking antidepressants and antipsychotics," overall prescription drug sales in the United States...

Cold Turkey

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The other day I talked to a friend who I hadn’t seen for quite a while. She told me that she had been prescribed Seroquel for sleep problems about a year ago. But when she started to read about it a couple months ago she got really nervous that it was causing her long term health complications and she stopped taking it - cold turkey - without tapering. I wondered about our conversation afterwards and thought about the countless amount of people who don’t tolerate their psychiatric meds and quit cold turkey.

5,012 Englishwomen Poisoned Last Year by Benzos, 8,501 by SSRIs

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Addiction Today reports "Attention on illicit drugs has deflected focus from the gigantic scale of harms by legal, prescribed drugs. We give you the...

A Discussion of Labels, Part One: Disability

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When my son was born six years ago, the word “disabled” was suddenly all around me. It came from everywhere – the nurses, the doctors, the physical and occupational therapists, friends and family. I remember looking into his ice blue eyes and so marveling at the lines of white that extended so symmetrically from his irises that I began calling him Star Boy. I felt a new mother’s sense of protection. The label surrounding my Star Boy was a smoke so thick I felt I could barely breathe.

VA Still Using Benzos for PTSD Despite Warnings

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Military.com reports that doctors from the Department of Veterans' Affairs are continuing to prescribe tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax despite the VA's guidelines...

Nevada Legislation Aims to Curb Psychotropics in Foster Children

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A touching article in the Las Vegas Sun follows one child from abandonment through foster placements, polypharmacy, suicidality, delinquency and homelessness to stability off...

CBT and Educational Intervention Reduce Chronic Pain, Study Finds

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Research examines the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on experiences of chronic pain among low-income patients.

The Cocktail Party

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As a prescription drug and addiction expert for The O’Reilly Factor, Fox National News and many other news outlets, I am often called when a celebrity death occurs. While the loss of a talented actor or musician is tragic, I know from personal experience that the magnitude of devastation from legal drugs is happening to millions of innocent people – through psychoactive medications.

A Quiet Drug Problem Among the Elderly

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From The New York Times: Use of benzodiazepines has risen among seniors despite their increased vulnerability to the drugs' adverse effects. "'Set aside the opioid issue,'...

Discontinuing Psychotropics Reduces Falls in Elderly

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Australian researchers look at the literature on the effect of psychotropics on falls in the elderly; largest effect of any randomized trial was achieved...

“My Road to Hell was Paved with Xanax”

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-Ashley Zlatopolsky writes about how receiving a benzodiazepine for anxiety led to a severe, problematic addiction.

We Have Seen the Evidence Base, and it is Us

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Anyone who has used benzodiazepines and sleeping pills knows how difficult it is to get off them (worse than heroin!) and how much time it takes to recover. Although there is a lot more helpful information on the web these days, a lot of it is based on anecdotal accounts, personal stories and theories rather than “real” evidence.

Weaning the Elderly off Sleeping Pills

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In a follow-up to an earlier commentary on the topic, Paula Span discusses the widespread use and negative effects of sleeping pills among the...

“Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young Whites”

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“The rising death rates for those young white adults, ages 25 to 34, make them the first generation since the Vietnam War years of the mid-1960s to experience higher death rates in early adulthood than the generation that preceded it,” the ‘Times reports.

“Barry Takes Center Stage for World Benzo Day Launch”

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Mad In America contributor and prescription drug addiction reformer Barry Haslam has “taken his fight to the world stage by helping create an international...

A Text Therapy App Plans to Start Prescribing Drugs to Users

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From Business Insider: Talkspace, a text message-based therapy platform, is bringing on a team of psychiatrists to prescribe medications to patients. The app is also...

Major National Newspaper Looking for Drug Withdrawal Stories

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From the Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry: A major national newspaper is looking for people in the UK willing to share recent stories of negative effects...

Long-term Painkiller Use on Rise, 1/3rd Dangerously Mix with Anti-anxiety Meds

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About 9% fewer Americans are using prescription opioids than were five years ago, but those people are taking more of the drugs for longer periods of time, according to a study by pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts reported in FiercePharma. And nearly one-third are being put in serious risk of overdose death by taking the opioids alongside prescriptions for benzodiazepine sedatives, stated the New York Times.

Antidepressants Associated With Increased Driving Risk

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Researchers from the Taiwan and the United States find through a study of 5,183 subjects with motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) and 31,093 matched controls...

Patients More Likely to Refuse Drug-Only Treatment, Study Finds

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The American Psychological Association (APA) recently published a study finding that patients assigned to drug-only treatments were more likely to refuse treatment, and more likely to drop out before treatment completion, than patients assigned to psychotherapy only.

“Focus on Opioids May Obscure Other Drug Issues”

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“The war against the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts may be pushing another potential public health crisis into the shadows,” the Metro West Daily News...

Bereaved Parents Prescribed Meds Quickly, Stay on Meds Long-Term

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MiA blogger Jeffrey Lacasse's study of psychiatric prescribing in response to perinatal/neonatal death (co-authored with Joanne Cacciatore) finds that 37% of participants in an...

“Survivors Push for Withdrawal Hotline and Change”

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“Two Scots whose lives have been ravaged by prescription drugs are battling for ­recognition of the devastating withdrawal issues as well as proper support for victims,”...

The Rotted Fruit

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In the law if one falsehood is uncovered in sworn testimony, all of the statements made and the actions that follow are suspect. If...