Millions of elderly Americans might be hooked on Xanax.
A new study claims one in four older adults prescribed drugs for sleep issues and depression become addicted.
Researchers at the University of Michigan followed almost 600 adults averaging 78 years of age. About one in four who were prescribed benzodiazepine sedatives ended up using them for at least a year. That’s despite warnings against long-term use of the drugs, especially among older people.
Experts say benzodiazepines can raise the risk for car crashes, falls, broken hips and other harmful side effects.
The study’s lead author says it’s a reminder for doctors to start with the end in mind when prescribing a benzodiazepine.