“The rising number of deaths due to opioid overdose hit a record high in 2014, leaving health experts greatly alarmed. Now, another medication is at the center of yet again increasing numbers of overdose-related mortality.
Researchers in the United States found that deaths from anxiety drug overdoses have increased four times in the last 20 years. More Americans are receiving anxiety medications under the class of drugs called benzodiazepines or “benzos,” but they’re taking more than the prescribed dose.
The research team looked into data on benzos use and found that prescriptions purchased throughout the last two decades increased from 8.1 million prescriptions in 1996 to 13.5 million in 2013. At the same time, they discovered that the death rate from benzos overdose increased from 0.58 deaths per 100,000 adults in 1996 to 3.14 deaths per 100,000 adults in 2013.
The danger significantly increases when benzos are combined with opioids, another powerful painkiller, said Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, co-author of the study. She also noted that taking benzos with alcohol elevates the overdose risk.”
Source: TechTimes.com – February 19, 2016