Drugs like benzodiazepine are a separate class of drugs that are actively used to treat anxiety and sleeplessness. They’re one of the most commonly named drugs in prescriptions in the United States, especially among elderly individuals, according to many journals of Health Statistics.
In addition to helping to alleviate anxiety and seizures, benzodiazepines can also aid in relaxing muscles and promote sleep. Benzodiazepine is widely abused and misused around the world.
500 Percent Shoot Up In Fatal Overdoses Caused By Illicit Tranquilizers During The Pandemic
As a result of unlawful distribution, their abuse has reached a high degree, and they are frequently utilized in criminal activities.
“Designer” which is benzodiazepines have been connected to an increasing number of deaths due to overdose in the United States, as illegal and unlicensed labs produce new synthetic versions of prescription tranquilizers such as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Valium.
The research has shocked the medical fraternity as it was never such a high ratio before. The overdose of tranquilizers is not limited to any specific area or community as well as any medical condition as it had samples from across the nation. However, experts hold the pandemic condition responsible for this overuse which may have proven fatal in many cases but figures for the same are yet not out.
There were 316 illicit benzo overdose deaths between 2019 and 2020, an increase of more than six times (520%), according to data from 32 states and the District of Columbia. According to a new analysis by Stephen Liu and colleagues at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatalities from overdoses from prescription benzodiazepines jumped 22 percent, from 921 to 1,122.
According to Dr. Alex Manini, these new designer medications “are structurally identical to licensed benzodiazepines in the same therapeutic class, but unfortunately, these designer benzos have unknown clinical side effects and unknown toxicities.” At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, he directs the Toxicology Research Core, which is part of the Emergency Medicine Research Division.
They are suspected of being more potent than prescribed benzodiazepines, and Manini claimed they increase the danger of addiction and overdose. Prescriptions for benzodiazepines are commonly used to treat anxiety disorders.
They’re spreading at the same rate as dangerous synthetic opioids namely fentanyl, according to specialists. Drug users began to switch from prescription opioids like OxyContin or Vicodin to cheaper and more powerful illegal alternatives as to the opioid epidemic spread.
Pat Aussem, associate vice president of consumer clinical content development for the non-profit Partnership to End Addiction stated “More synthetic benzodiazepines are being reported in toxicology reports across the globe, outpacing new synthetic opioids,”
According to data collected in the course of the first half of the year 2020, 93% of benzodiazepine overdose deaths besides benzodiazepine involve opiates. Illicit fentanyl was mixed with a benzo two-thirds of the time.
Dr. Leigh Vinocur, a spokeswoman with the American College of Emergency Physicians said that Opioids and benzodiazepines both depress a person’s breathing, and the combination is more likely to cause you to stop drawing breath. “can raise the risk factor of an overdose by a factor of 10 as compared to prescribing opioids alone.” Said Aussem while noting that the research suggests a combination.
Manini pointed out that combining the two types of drugs results in it less likely for a person to be able to respond to therapies that help and aim towards reversing an opioid overdose. He also stated, “The presence of opioids and benzodiazepines together, that’s going to decrease the utility of our reversal agent, which is naloxone, If you’re not able to reverse the drug overdose, that’s a major problem.”