The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has “upended daily life” and caused a spike in anti-anxiety prescriptions in the United States. In late March, 45% of people said that worry or stress related to coronavirus had negatively impacted their mental health. This self-reporting coincides with an increase in anti-anxiety prescriptions that began in mid-February and peaked with a 34% increase on March 15.
Reversing a Positive Trend
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, benzodiazepine prescriptions had declined by about 12.1% over a 5-year period. Doctors slowed down on prescribing drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium because of worries over addiction, and opted for therapy instead.
With widespread stay-at-home orders, however, cases of anxiety increased, and care became less accessible. The use of anti-anxiety medications jumped 40% for women and nearly 23% for men.
Prescriptions for depression and insomnia also increased by 21% between mid-February and mid-March.
The Trouble with Prescription Medication
While many people need access to prescription medications during this difficult time, they also need guidance, support, and therapy. If someone begins treating their symptoms with benzodiazepines and does not address the roots of their anxiety, they are putting themselves at risk of prescription drug addiction.
The relief someone with anxiety feels when they take Xanax can be beneficial, but feelings of relaxation and euphoria can become addictive – especially when there’s not much else to do. Similarly, someone who takes Ambien to help them sleep may misuse the drug to cope with an underlying issue.
Prescription drug addiction can happen fast, particularly when medications aren’t used exactly as directed. If you find yourself becoming dependent on a drug or notice your loved one forming a negative relationship with their prescription, please do not hesitate to get help.
Decision Point Center Is Here for You
No one blames you or your loved one for turning to prescription medication during a global pandemic. If you’ve become addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is not your fault.
Call us at (844) 292-5010 today to discuss your situation. Once we talk about your sobriety goals and challenges, we can help you find the best treatments, therapies, and holistic activities for your journey.
If you’re interested in getting away from the stress and anxiety that plagues you and focusing on your sobriety, you may want to consider our 45-90 day extended residential inpatient program.
Whatever you’re looking for, you can trust us to provide you with the assistance you need.
We look forward to helping you feel better without the assistance of drugs and/or alcohol.