New study finds jump in deaths related to anti-anxiety drugs

Victoria Richards

A professor at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine is available to comment on a new analysis, published in the American Journal of Public Health, about overdose deaths related to anti-anxiety drugs, including benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax that are used to treat anxiety, insomnia and panic disorders. The study was by an assistant professor of medicine at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. 

"Benzodiazepines are among the drugs that are misused and abused, but they don't receive the same scrutiny in the press as opioids," said Victoria Richards, associate professor of medical sciences. "They are controlled substances, but not in the same class of the abused prescription opioids. However, benzodiazepines are prescribed for insomnia as well as anxiety, which as a nation, sleep-related disorders is a concern. If combined with alcohol, or with heroin or cocaine, the sedative effects are much more serious." 

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