The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has found that the misuse and abuse of benzodiazepine is relatively rare, even though the drug is sometimes hyped as the next overdose crisis in healthcare.
Benzodiazepines – often called “benzos” — are a class of sedative that includes Valium and Xanax. The medications are usually prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Data on over 100,000 adults in the 2015-16 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health was analyzed by researchers, who found that benzodiazepines were used by 12.5% of American adults. Of those, about 17% “misused” the drug at least once, but only 2% had what was diagnosed as a benzodiazepine use disorder.
The study found several risk factors for benzo misuse, including younger age, male gender, lower levels of education, lack of health insurance or employment, and lower income levels — factors often associated with other substance use disorders. more