Treatment of Abuse of Drugs Like Xanax and Valium Is Up Sharply

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Treatment for abusing benzodiazepine – a class of drugs including Xanax, Valium and Halcion that is commonly used to treat insomnia, seizures and anxiety disorders— nearly tripled from 1998 to 2008, according to a study released this week by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The study found that substance abuse treatment admissions involving benzodiazepine abuse among  those 12-years-old and over increased from 22,400 in 1998, to 60,200 in 2008 – more than a 268 percent rise. In comparison, overall treatment admissions for all substances in the same time frame rose by 11 percent.

SMHSA also found that benzodiazepine-related treatment admissions accounted for 3.2 percent of all substance abuse treatment admissions in 2008, up from 1.3 percent in 1998. White, non-Hispanic males made up a majority of the benzodiazepine-related admissions.

The study showed that most of benzodiazepine admissions also involved the abuse of another substance, and, often times, benzodiazepines were the secondary drug of abuse. Overall, opiates were the primary substance abused in 54.2 percent of such cases. However, among teenagers marijuana was the most frequently reported primary abused substance. Among those 45-years-old and above, opiates and alcohol were the most abused primary substances.

To see the complete report, click here.