Stress is a huge problem in the world today. It’s why so many people eat to deal with their anxiety, or find ways to combat stress in their lives. No matter who you are, there will always be some degree of stress in your life. It’s just the way things are in this busy world today!
Many people are looking for ways to deal with their stress and anxiety, which is why there have been so many anti-anxiety drugs floating around the market today. You’ve got drugs like Valium and Xanax to help calm you down and prevent anxiety, and there are medications like Lunesta and Ambien that help you to sleep. All of these drugs are designed with one thing in mind: reducing the stress in your life.
Well, according to a recent study, taking these drugs can actually kill you–literally!
Drugs Linked to Higher Mortality Rate
According to a New York Times article, a study has proven that taking anti-anxiety drugs can lead to a higher risk of early death. The study was published in the British Medical Journal, and gives a pretty clear insight into the dangers of taking drugs to control anxiety.
Over the course of 7 years, over 100,000 people were studied. Nearly 35,000 of the participants filled prescriptions for either sleep medications or anti-anxiety drugs, while the rest–over 69,000–did not fill out any prescriptions.
The study of course adjusted for other health factors, such as smoking habits, drinking habits, the socioeconomic status, and other characteristics of the participants. The data was compiled after 7 years, and it provided some pretty interesting insights:
Those that took anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping medications had twice the risk of death as those that did not take drugs.
That’s some pretty scary facts! It means that people taking medications to help deal with their anxiety and stress may very well end up with health problems, caused by their medications instead of the anxiety.
The research wasn’t able to provide conclusive evidence that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the drugs themselves caused the early death, but the link was very clear. Those taking anti-anxiety and sleeping medications do run a higher risk of death, simply because of the strength of the prescription medications.
Dr. Scott Weich, lead author of the study and professor of psychiatry at the University of Warwick, pointed out that the drugs can be highly addictive, and many people end up taking them for years. Even after their anxiety problems are cured, they continue to take the drugs in order to enjoy the pleasant feeling promoted by Xanax and Valium. They also rely heavily on Lunesta, Ambien, and other medications to be able to sleep, as the drugs promote a dependence that make it difficult to sleep without them.
Dr. Weich stated that it was best for people to avoid taking these drugs in the first place, or at least spend as little time on the drugs as possible. With the increased risk of dependency and addiction, thee drugs certainly aren’t the safest, healthiest option. The more people can find non-medicating ways to deal with their anxiety and sleep problems, the lower their risk of both addiction and early death.
This study has opened the door for more research into how the medication can cause early death, and no doubt more information will be forthcoming in the next few years as doctors discover why these medications are so bad for you in the long run. For now, be warned to stay away from these drugs as much as possible!