Researchers at Universite Laval, Canada, found that using prescription drugs to treat insomnia and anxiety increases one’s mortality risk by 36 percent, even after controlling for lifestyle behaviors that affect mortality rate, such as alcohol use, smoking, health condition and the level of physical activity. The conclusion reached by Professor Genevieve Belleville and his team was based on 12 years of records of some 14,000 Canadians from Statistics Canada’s National Population Health Survey. According to the team, the data comes from surveys which were carried out every two years between 1994 and 2007. It contains information on the social demographics, lifestyle and health of participants between the ages of 18 to 102.
I came across the graphic below in Good Magazine online. Each pill represents one million psychiatric drug prescriptions. Of the 10 drugs shown, three are benzodiazepines prescribed for anxiety (Xanax, Ativan and Valium), and by far the most prescribed drug of the group is Xanax with 44 million prescriptions in 2009.
More and more Americans are landing in the hospital due to poisoning by powerful prescription painkillers, sedatives and tranquilizers, according to a report released today. City-living middle-aged women seem particularly vulnerable.