Overdose Deaths in the United States Involving Benzodiazepines, 1999 through 2015. An upwards trend, with 9,000 deaths in 2015.
“Benzodiazepines have proven utility when they are used intermittently and for less than 1 month at a time. But when they are used daily and for extended periods, the benefits of benzodiazepines diminish and the risks associated with their use increase. Many prescribers don’t realize that benzodiazepines can be addictive and when taken daily can worsen anxiety, contribute to persistent insomnia, and cause death.
Other risks associated with benzodiazepines include cognitive decline, accidental injuries and falls, and increased rates of hospital admission and emergency department visits.
Fortunately, there are safer treatment alternatives for anxiety and insomnia, including selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors and behavioral interventions. Just as with opioids, some patients benefit from long-term use of benzodiazepines. But even in low-risk patients, it is best to avoid daily dosing to mitigate the development of tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal.”
If 9,000 Americans died annually due to terrorist attacks, one can only wonder how publicized this news would be.
The good news is, using a true mind-body approach my patients and clients achieve better results than medications.