Kentucky Clinic Stops Writing New Prescriptions for Xanax Due to Abuse Concerns

A mental health clinic in Louisville, KY, has stopped writing prescriptions for the anti-anxiety drug Xanax because of concerns about abuse and overdoses. Experts say benzodiazepines, including Xanax, are often overlooked as a source of prescription drug abuse.

The clinic, Seven Counties Services, made the decision to stop writing prescriptions for Xanax and its generic version, alprazolam, due to a large number of overdoses involving the drug both locally and nationally, The New York Times reports. The clinic stopped providing new prescriptions for the drug in April and will wean patients off the medication by December. Several other health care providers in the region have also stopped giving patients prescriptions for certain opioids and benzodiazepines, the article notes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the estimated number of emergency department visits involving nonmedical use of benzodiazepines increased 89 percent nationwide between 2004 and 2008. The drug’s effects are felt almost immediately and last only a few hours, which can lead to abuse.

Seven Counties has switched some of the estimated 3,000 patients on Xanax to clonazepam, a benzodiazepine that is longer-acting and does not take effect as quickly. It is thought to be less addictive than Xanax. The clinic ultimately plans to treat patients with severe anxiety with an antidepressant and benzodiazepine, as well as teaching patients to learn coping skills with cognitive behavioral therapy.

Some doctors object to cutting off Xanax completely, saying the drug helps many patients who use it correctly.

3 Responses to Kentucky Clinic Stops Writing New Prescriptions for Xanax Due to Abuse Concerns

  1. Angel | November 15, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I believe that doctors all over the united states should stop writing prescriptions for zanax. I’ve never seen it do anyone any good. It changes a persons personality in an instant and is the root of most drug related crimes and overdoses. I pray for the day when they no longer produce this evil pill.

    • Issie | September 9, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Angel and Rachel I have been on Xanax for over 30 years This drug has helped me I do not abuse it if you take it the way a doctor tills you to its a great drug.

  2. Rachel | August 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    think xanax “is the root of most drug related crimes and overdoses”. What? Really?! Xanax? No words.

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