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NYTimes: Seven Counties Xanax ban closely watched in Kentucky, nation as a whole

by Staff

The New York Times is reporting on Seven Counties Services doctors cutting the agency’s patients off the prescription sedative Xanax:

Because of the clamor for the drug, and concern over the striking number of overdoses involving Xanax here and across the country, Seven Counties took an unusual step — its doctors stopped writing new prescriptions for Xanax and its generic version, alprazolam, in April and plan to wean patients off it completely by year’s end.

The story, “Abuse of Xanax Leads Clinic to Halt Supply,” by Abby Goodnough, states the Seven Counties decision could have huge ramifications in Kentucky and across the rest of the nation as drug abusers shift from opiate=based painkillers to benzodiazepine sedatives including Xanax.

Goodnough notes Xanax/alprazolam is one of the three most-prescribed controlled substances in Kentucky, along with hydrocodone and oxycodone, according to the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Last March, Courier-Journal reporter Laura Ungar broke the story about the Seven Counties ban, noting Xanax is the second-most abused prescription drug in Kentucky and is the drug most frequently found in the state’s overdose victims.

Not everyone, including doctors, thinks the Seven Counties decision is a good one.

A disturbing read.

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