Anxiety Nation and Drug Addiction

Are You Worried About Being Addicted to Anxiety Medications?

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend Magazine July 14, 2012 contained an article written by Julie-Anne Davies called Anxiety Nation which was excellent.  An example of exceptional journalism.

So good in fact, I have sought their permission to put the document in here for anyone to download and/or read.  Thank you to the Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend magazine for allowing us to do this.

There is so much in this article that I really encourage you to read it, if you suffer from anxiety and/or panic, if your children or family members suffer from it – whether or not you are taking medication for the problem already.  And hopefully BEFORE you start taking prescribed medications.

Here are some extracts taken directly from the article that I hope will motivate you to download the full article and read it carefully:

“…researcher Dr Belinda Lloyd from Victorian drug-treatment agency Turning Point, where here latest analysis of ambulance attendances in metropolitan Melbourne shows that, compared to other benzos, there has been a threefold increase in Xanax-related triple-O calls in the past decade.”

“…the pills they pop like Smarties are more addictive and harder to kick than heroin.”

“Says Baigent, “Anxiety has not had the public-education profile that depression has had in recent years and so, even though it affects more people and causes nearly as much suicide, it falls below the radar.”

“Some of the most disabled patients Baigent treats are those with an anxiety disorder.”

“And so many anxious middle-class casual Xanax pill poppers who take one, or perhaps two, tablets before an international flight or a board meeting could get into trouble.  Yes, says Professor Gavin Andrews, from the University of NSW and the director of St Vincent’s Hospital’s Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression, it’s all relative.  But Xanax is like no other benzo.”

“You take one and you fell better quickly, but then it wears off and your symptoms re-emerge and so you take another one, but it’s the withdrawal causing the symptoms, not your anxiety. ”

“”Yes, it’s okay to have the odd one if you’re getting on a place – just like it’s okay to have a bit of heroin or cocaine – but the addiction potential is about the same, if not worse,” Andrews says….

But, he says, “and you must quote me on this, chronic benzo use – and Xanax is the most potent – produces stupid people.

We teach our medical students at the University of N.S.W. not to prescribe benzos for panic disorder – full stop.”

“I hear about people on private prescriptions being given scripts for 100 two-milligram-strength tablets with three repeats, and that is an absolute recipe for addiction.  Any doctor who writes a prescription like that has, in one consultation, created a new Xanax addict.”

New York magazine recently stated, “If the ’90s were the decade of Prozac, all hollow-eyed and depressed, then this is the era of Xanax, all jumpy and edgy and short of breath.””

Oh dear, unfortunately there is more… Please read it if it has anything to do with you, your partner, your loved ones, your family, your friends…  too important to ignore.

My comments:

Please seek specialist medical help if you have any problems with any of these or other medications.

Ask for help immediately, as abrupt withdrawal can be dangerous.

Understand that it is not a weakness to ask for help, that professional support and advice is absolutely the way to go if you find yourself in this position.

Here is one Australian organisation that you might like to investigate, but if you google “yourdrugname addiction help” (without the apostrophes) or similar terms, you should be able to locate someone today who can help.

Ring them now, and immediately you will have someone ‘on your team’ to help you.

Finally, there are ways to reduce anxiety that do not involve medications. They include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), exercise, relaxation and meditation, etc.

Garry McDonald (also known as the the actor/commedian Norman Gunston), a long time anxiety sufferer is an exponent of CBT and meditation.

If you hover your mouse over the image you will see the opportunity to either save, print or read the full article.

Wishing you the very best.