With an opioid crisis choking the nation, it’s understandable that few are talking about what drugs might create the next crisis.
Addiction treatment specialists, however, are seeing the beginnings of a worrying trend – a surge of adolescents addicted to Xanax and other sedatives in a class of anti-anxiety drugs known as benzodiazepines, or “benzos” (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, etc.).
Many teens have easy access to these drugs in the medicine cabinets and purses of their parents.
What’s equally troubling – many teens seem to see these drugs as safe alternatives to opioids.
The problem is many are combing benzos with alcohol and other drugs, with deadly effects. Many are also becoming addicted.
Sharon Levy from Boston Children’s Hospital believes adolescent benzo use is skyrocketing with more kids being admitted to hospitals for benzo withdrawal because the seizures are so dangerous.
Addiction specialists in the mid-Atlantic states are also seeing an alarming jump in extreme, high-dose adolescent users.
In response to the opioid crisis, three drugs have been approved by the FDA to blunt the cravings and withdrawal symptoms of opioids.
No such drugs exist for addiction to the benzodiazepines or benzos class of drugs.
What’s more, if benzo use is halted too quickly, seizures and sometimes death are the result.
Sadly, this rising tide of addiction has once again been fed by the marketing tactics of the big drug companies and the prescribing habits of physicians. Benzos are everywhere making it all too easy for addiction to start.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Connecticut, New Hampshire or southern Maine, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of personalized, family-centered in-home care is giving clients a better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more or to talk to one of our Recovery Specialists, visit www.awarerecoverycare.com.