facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Concerned Clinics Kick Out Xanax

Some doctors are taking drastic action to protect patients from the dangers of prescription drugs, which cause more US deaths than crack and heroin.

Image: 

On the brain Photo via

By Jed Bickman

09/15/11

| Share

Although the biggest prescription drug menaces are opiate painkillers like Oxycontin, anti-anxiety benzodiazepines like Xanax and Klonopin are nipping at Oxy's heels. Both classes of sedatives are extremely addictive, and the danger is compounded when you mix them—as many painkillers addicts do, adding a benzo to cut the screeching anxiety associated with withdrawal when getting clean or when the opiate supply runs dry. The White House has said “prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem,” and its report points out that people are dying of prescription drug overdoses at rates that exceed the 80s crack epidemic and the 70s heroin crisis combined. Experts have lauded the focus the Obama administration has fixed on the problem, but are less keen on what they consider a sluggish response. Action at the state level has been even spottier; many states have not even instituted databases to monitor prescriptions. Left to come up with their own solutions, many communities and local clinics are left to their own devices. As the New York Times reports, clinics are experimenting with a ban on Xanax, refusing to prescribe the top-selling benzo. Nonprofits like NOPE have also stepped in, advocating stricter controls of addictive drugs and educating patients about responsible use. Stevie Nicks has become the poster girl for the dangers of benzos, speaking out against the drugs in virtually every interview she gives; after a doctor prescribed her Klonopin to help her kick her cocaine habit, Nicks developed a decade-long klonopin kick. She says that getting clean from it was like “somebody opened up a door and pushed me into hell.” In 2008, Winona Ryder collapsed on an airplane from an overdose of Xanax. The growing trend among clinics to cut off Xanax prescriptions has been praised by public health officials as a “noble idea” and an “experiment.” Big Pharma is less pleased, of course, because these pills rake in hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Whether the ban will catch on—or be anything like enough to stem the tide—remains to be seen.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Big Brother, Where Art Thou?

I barely made it out of my troubled adolescence and I had resources; how can I help an underprivileged teen with everything stacked against him?

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious San Diego rehab has a program for you—if you can tear yourself away from “the most amazing massages ever."

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv