According to a recent study, the misuse of prescription of opioids or benzodiazepines (such as Xanax) is associated with suicidal ideation.
In a study conducted at the Texas State University, past-year use (without misuse) of prescription opioids or benzodiazepines was not associated with past-year suicidal ideation for 17,608 adults aged 50 years and older. In contrast, past-year opioid misuse was associated with an 84 percent increased odds of past-year suicidal ideation, and past-year benzodiazepine misuse was associated with a twofold increased odds, after controlling for various factors related to suicide in other work.
The findings are published in the International Journal of Geriatric.
While 2.2 percent of older adults, who were not engaged in either opioid or benzodiazepine misuse, reported past-year suicidal ideation, the rate was 25.4 percent in those who misused both medication classes.
"Suicide is a major public health concern in older adults. Prescribers and other health professionals are encouraged to screen for prescription opioid or benzodiazepine misuse in older adults who are prescribed these medications prevent suicide," said lead author Dr. Ty Schepis
The findings of the study found a strong link between prescription opioid or benzodiazepine misuse and suicidal ideation, which is particularly concerning because these medications are commonly prescribed to older adults.
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