17 May Deadly Results From Mixing Benzos
When the use of opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin soared in the 2000s, the use of benzos such as Ativan, Xanax and Klonopin increased as well. Opioid users figured out that they can get much better ‘high’ if mixing together with tranquilizers. From 2006 to 2013, the number of prescriptions for combination of opioids and benzos jumped from 80 million to 94 million prescriptions.
Unfortunately, the mix is proving deadly. About 30 percents of the 16,651 deaths from drug overdose in 2010 involved painkillers.
Alone, benzodiazepines have very low toxicity. However, other drugs with potential for abuse can enhance the toxicity of it. Benzos also boost the effects of other central nervous system depressants such as hypnotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, neuroleptics, antihistamines and particularly alcohol, at times leading to fatal overdoses.
In addition, interactions between different drugs can have negative effects. For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are capable of increasing blood levels of diazepam. Nefazadone (Serzone) at times increases levels of alprazolam, through liver enzyme inhibition. This can cause unexpected side effects, or can increase sedative or hypnotic effects.