Benzodiazepines are often used to treat anxiety and insomnia. In Ireland, there were 1,054 cases of benzodiazepines being used in 2003. In 2008, that rose to 1,719 - an increase of 63%.
This increase has researchers at the Health Research Board concerned.
Benzodiazepines were implicated in almost a third of all drug poisoning deaths between 1998 and 2007.
Although benzodiazepines are considered safe for short-term use, like sleeping pills they shouldn't be used over the long-term. Additionally, benzodiazepines can have potentially fatal side-effects when combined with alcohol or opiates.
If you've been taking benzodiazepines on a long-term basis, it might be a good idea to speak with your doctor. Remember, if you aren't satisfied with their advice, there are other doctors out there, so don't give up.
Source: RTÉ News
Last updated: October 29, 2012