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

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.


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments




Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top