Monday, September 19, 2011

Kentucky Physicians Tackle Benzodiazepine Abuse

Because so many of their patients had been clamoring for the benzodiazepine Xanax (alprazolam), in some cases to abuse it, a Louisville mental health clinic has taken an unusual step—its physicians are no longer prescribing it, the New York Times reported on September 14.

In May, the White House also moved to curtail abuse of prescription drugs. It announced that the Food and Drug Administration would require manufacturers of opioid pain medications to train physicians in the use of these medications and to develop materials for patients on their appropriate use and disposal. Read more information about this federal initiative in Psychiatric News at

And abuse of prescription drugs seems to be a serious problem among adolescents, a National Institute on Drug Abuse survey has found. Last year, for example, use of the prescription opioid oxycodone was 5 percent among 12th graders. For more on this issue see the APA journal Psychiatric Services at

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