Likewise, research conducted by Syracuse University’s Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, published in January, raised concerns over the increase in prescriptions of benzodiazepines, which are used to treat short-term anxiety.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has inflamed pre-existing problems related to mental health, prescribing practices, and substance use,” the authors wrote, adding that prior to the pandemic, “public health officials and medical experts were already worried about the rising rates of prescriptions for benzodiazepines, such as Xanax (alprazolam).”
Any extreme increases or decreases in prescribing these medications can lead to greater risks of overdose and dependence, a concern validated by CDC data, which shows that the number of overdose deaths involving benzodiazepines rose from 1,135 in 1999 to 11,537 in 2017. The number of overdose deaths involving antidepressants also increased over that period, from 1,749 to 5,269.
Read Are you overprescribing these common meds? HERE