Killing Pain: Benzo 'Boost' Can Be Deadly

Prescription records show that as use of opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin soared in the 2000s, so did the use of "benzos" such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, as opioid users discovered tranquilizers could enhance "the high."

Prescription records show that as use of opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin soared in the 2000s, so did the use of "benzos" such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, as opioid users discovered tranquilizers could enhance "the high."

Data provided to the Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today show the drugs are on the upswing again, increasing from 80 million prescriptions in 2006 to 94 million in 2013, according to IMS Health, a drug market research firm.

Now, thousands of Americans are dying each year after mixing opioids and benzodiazepines.

The combination turned up in 30% of the 16,651 overdose deaths involving narcotic painkillers in 2010, the most recent year for which data were available, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Source: Med Page Today