The prescribing and use of benzodiazepines for general anxiety or panic disorder without proper diagnosis (or in conjunction with therapy) is only masking the problem and not attending to the underlying causes, is improper and is adding to the current addiction crisis in America.
Many people from elderly to high schooler’s are taking Benzodiazepines these days. Benzodiazepines are anti anxiety and muscle relaxant medications such as Xanax, Clonazapam or Valium. The problem with taking “Benzodiazepines” on a regular basis for general anxiety is that not only are they addictive but they create a phenomenon called rebound anxiety.
Rebound anxiety is where a patient will become even more anxious than normal when not taking the medication, prompting them to take it more frequently and in higher dosages. (tolerance and addiction) This results in an addiction to “Benzodiazepines” and chronic anxiety.
This is not like taking an antibiotic for a sinus infection where it can be cured, it is just masking the symptoms while not curing the cause. If there is no attempt at curing the underling issue i.e. therapy, then the medication should not be given or taken, as the problem will only get worse.
If a patient is truly diagnosed with panic attack syndrome, Xanax can be useful to mitigate an occasional instance, however it is more frequently taken as an anti-anxiety medication when life gets stressful which is almost always for many people. This is improper self medication just as with Opioids or alcohol and can lead to overuse, addiction and the development of general constant rebound anxiety. With this in mind people need to realize that “benzo addiction” is not only difficult to overcome but the discontinuation and the associated withdrawal can cause seizures and be very dangerous. Detox from “Benzodiazepines” should be done in a hospital detox unit and normally takes a few days. Benzo detox death is generally caused by seizures and is why it is recommended that the detox be done in a hospital setting.
The proper path to take is to use CBT like therapies to help identify core issues that are causing excessive anxiety and the development of tools and strategies to handle the anxiety incumbent in normal life while slowly tapering the dose and frequency of use until it is no longer needed.
Another issue is the consumption of “Benzodiazepines” for anxiety while alternately taking ADHD stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (brand names, Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, Focalin), and amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Dexedrine, Vyvanse).
Of course there will be an anxiety issue when a person is using stimulants or Amphetamines.
Lastly, is the very dangerous, alarming and growing frequency of young people as young as freshmen in high school especially females taking their parents or friends Xanax along with hard alcohol. This is done in order to maximize a quick onset drunken high without having to drink as much since sometimes they don’t like the taste of alcoholic beverages. These people then being too sedated may feel the need to take stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (brand names, Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, Focalin), and amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Dexedrine, Vyvanse) to stay awake.
The biggest problem here is that it creates a situation where they are taking 2 respiratory depressants which magnify (potentiate) each other which could cause death by lack of breathing. Then adding in stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (brand names, Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, Focalin), or amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Dexedrine, Vyvanse) to the situation makes for a situation that stresses the heart with stimulation and depression at the same time which could lead to heart damage or failure.
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