They mean well. I know they do.
But when a friend offers you a little something from a prescription bottle in their medicine cabinet, they could do a lot more damage than anyone would imagine.
And that’s especially true with the meds that are MOST often shared between friends and family. You know, the ones that are supposed to “take the edge off.”
Maybe it’s a little Xanax. Perhaps some valium. Or possibly something to help you sleep.
Many people think sharing these common drugs is like giving someone a Tylenol. That they’re a harmless solution for a temporary problem.
But new research exposes the truth. This entire class of meds used for sleep, nerves, and anxiety is causing a CRISIS in America’s emergency rooms.
And drug sharing among folks of all ages, even seniors, has become a MAJOR part of the problem.
The real harm of that ‘harmless’ drug
One in 10 emergency room visits due to medication is now because of a single class of drugs called benzodiazepines.
And among ER bound folks are some 1,400 seniors every month. That adds up to more than 16,000 older Americans every single year.
Less than a third of those ER trips are from intentional overdoses, such as suicide attempts. The rest are folks who NEVER thought they’d have a problem.
For example, some people might build a tolerance to the drugs, so they don’t get the same anxiety-relieving effect they used to. And that can lead to the old “I’ll just take one more” mistake that leads to an accidental overdose.
But many are in the ER for another reason. More than half are “non-medical use” or people who DON’T have prescriptions for the drugs they took. Often known as “here, just have one of mine.”
As I said, people mean well. It relieved THEIR anxiety. They’re trying to help.
But the new study shows how quickly it could go badly wrong. Because one in four of those admitted to ERs due to benzodiazepine misuse and overdose are either unresponsive or suffering from cardiopulmonary arrest.
Tackle your anxiety without the risk
I know in the clear light of day, none of us ever think we’d take meds from a friend or give them to one, either. But in the crisis of the moment… when you see a friend suffering from anxiety, or they see you miserable… it’s tempting to either offer that med or accept it.
Don’t. It’s not just that a doc needs to be involved when you take a drug like a benzo. It’s that the benzos themselves are rarely the best way to tackle the problem, whether it’s sleep, anxiety, or anything else.
And that’s especially true if you’re a senior who has an increased sensitivity to these drugs.
Benzodiazepines are some of the MOST dangerous and LEAST necessary drugs in the pharmacy. Many natural therapies not only work just as well or better but are a whole lot safer, too.
Here are three of “nature’s benzos,” which can help you tackle your anxiety without the risks…
Ashwagandha: Funny name, sure. But there’s nothing funny about the results, as ashwagandha has been shown to slash levels of stress hormones.
Theanine: This amino acid – which is available in supplements as well as the Gyokuro and Anji Bai Cha green teas – was put to the test against an anxiety DRUG and WON.
GABA: Xanax and Valium work by stimulating GABA production. But there are OTHER ways to get that same anxiety-relieving effect. Valerian root, for example, can boost GABA to help you relax. And as a bonus, it’s a great natural sleep aid, too.
Never risk your health or your life by taking medications that aren’t prescribed for you. And if you DO have a benzodiazepine prescription, talk with your doctor about transitioning off of it as soon as possible.