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Using benzodiazepines to ‘boost’ opioids can be deadly
America has been having a “love affair” with tranquilizers for over 50 years. From barbiturates in the early 1950s, like those that killed Marilyn Monroe, to the Miltown tranquilizers of the late 1950s and the more powerful benzodiazepines of the 1960s and 1970s like Librium and Valium, it seemed like everybody wanted some.
People wanted to “take the edge off” and “chill out” and “be cool”, and tranquilizers did the trick and were available everywhere. Most doctors handed them out like M&Ms to almost any patient with a twitch or a whiney complaint. But if you couldn’t get some from the family physician, there were always other family members, friends or co-workers.
Today, the most prevalent “tranq” on the scene is Xanax, the best-selling benzodiazepine in history with twice the number of prescriptions than all the others, a drug worth countless $billions to drugmaker Pfizer.
Well, folks, the honeymoon is over. In fact it’s been over for many years, but too many people haven’t gotten the message.
So here it is:
On their own, benzodiazepines are very addictive and they can really mess you up. Benzo addictions can be very hard to treat. And benzos can cause overdoses and deaths on their own. Many habitual benzodiazepine users and abusers don’t realize they are playing with fire.
Now there’s a new problem, and it’s getting worse. Thousands of Americans are dying every year because they’re using benzos to “boost” the effects of prescription opioid painkillers. They heard about it from somewhere, or they’ve discovered it on their own. Either way, bad idea. Medically and scientifically, a very bad idea – a combination that can very quickly put you down for the count. Combining benzos with painkillers – OxyContin or Vicodin or any opioid – is playing with living lightning.
Everyone knows that America’s other love affair – prescription opioid painkillers – has turned sour and become a dangerous obsession. In the last decade, prescriptions have more than quadrupled, and so have overdoses and deaths. Prescription opioids kill at least 12,000 people a year, without any help from benzodiazepines. Opioids are involved in over 75 percent of all prescription drug overdose deaths.
And when you add the benzodiazepines to the painkillers, deaths rise another 30 percent to over 16,650 in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available. That’s nearly 5,000 people who might still be alive if they hadn’t popped both kinds of pills at once. Plus perhaps similar numbers in 2011, 2012 and 2013 – maybe 15,000 people. Enough for a small American town. Butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, as the child’s rhyme goes.
Death from prescription drugs cares nothing about social position, what you do for a living, if you have any money in the bank, or who your friends are. And the combo of benzos with opioid painkillers just makes things even worse.
If you or someone you care about has any problem at all with opioid painkillers or with benzodiazepines, and especially if they have both drugs on hand, you need to call Novus Medical Detox Center today. Get the facts from one of our expert counselors, and find out why Novus patients are so happy with our medical detox solutions that can almost eliminate withdrawal symptoms.
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