Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Psychiatrist Weighs In On Clinic’s Decision To Halt Xanax Supply

I’m posting this because Roy fell asleep at the wheel and missed the Xanax article on the front page of yesterday’s  New York Times.  In “Abuse of Xanax Leads a Clinic to Halt Supply,”  Abby Goodnough writes about a clinic where they’ve stopped prescribing Xanax because to many people are abusing it.  Goodnough writes:

“It is such a drain on resources,” said Ms. Mink, whose employer, Seven Counties Services, serves some 30,000 patients in Louisville and the surrounding region. “You’re funneling a great deal of your energy into pacifying, educating, bumping heads with people over 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.

If you want to know how the Shrink Rappers feel about Xanax, do read Roy’s post on Why Docs Don’t like Xanax (Some of Us).  It’s been our all-time most popular post.

So I was a little (not a lot) surprised that this was “news.”  I’ve worked in four public clinics– I’ve never seen a prescription written for Xanax, and for the most part, the clinics where I’ve worked have had a sort of non-stated ban on prescribing controlled substances.  It’s not that benzodiazepines and stimulants are never helpful, but in the clinics, the issues concerning abuse, and the drain on the system gets to be very hard, plus we worry that the harm these medicines can do will be worse than the problems they ‘cure.’   It’s very rare that I’ve written for controlled substances, and I’ve never written for Xanax in a clinic, or seen a chart from another patient where Xanax was prescribed. I’d be shocked by the article, but during the two weeks I was in Louisiana after Katrina, I did see many patients who had been on high doses of long-standing Xanax that were prescribed by docs at community clinics, so I know it’s done.  But you know, ClinkShrink doesn’t like benzos at all, ever (per The Benzo Wars, if you’d like to hear us shriek at each other), and the rest of us Shrink Rappers don’t like Xanax in particular.

Time to wake up, Roy.

*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »