MA Benzo Stats, Information, and Treatment

Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed drugs that have the potential to be misused. This page will explain what benzodiazepines are, go over benzo statistics, and provide prescription drug addiction treatment options in or near Massachusetts.

What Is Considered a Benzo?

Benzodiazepines, often called benzos, are a class of prescription drugs used for the short-term relief of anxiety and panic disorders. Common benzos include:

  • Valium (diazepam).
  • Ativan (lorazepam).
  • Xanax (alprazolam).
  • Klonopin (clonazepam).

Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants, acting to calm an otherwise over-excited nervous system. These medications are typically not meant to be taken on a long-term basis.

Are Benzos Addictive?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns on the medication labeling for Xanax that the drug has a high risk for physical drug dependence and difficult withdrawal symptoms can occur when the medication is discontinued.

Benzos can be misused by chewing the tablets or crushing them to snort, smoke, or inject the powder. Any use of the medication without a medical need and legitimate prescription is considered misuse.

The mellowing high benzos can produce makes them a target for misuse. Benzos are also often combined with other drugs, such as opioids or alcohol, making them much more dangerous and compounding all potential risk factors for all substances involved.

Benzo Overdose Rates

Overdose death rates in Massachusetts are very high—higher than national averages. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the overdose death rate for Massachusetts in 2020 was 33.9 per 100,000 population as opposed to the national overdose fatality rate of 28.3 per 100,000 population.

The combination of benzos and opioids is particularly concerning as both suppress vital and life-sustaining functions of the central nervous system, raising the odds of a life-threatening overdose.

Benzodiazepines were involved in 31% of all opioid-related overdose fatalities that were recorded in 2020 and had a toxicology screen available in Massachusetts. Of the other drugs involved in opioid-related overdoses, benzos ranked behind only fentanyl and cocaine.

Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse in Massachusetts

Efforts to treat benzodiazepine addiction often begin with educational programs and public information campaigns to help stop the misuse of these drugs before it begins. Preventative efforts are both local and statewide, and many are funded through federal and state grants.

The Massachusetts Technical Assistance Partnership for Prevention (MassTAPP) supports communities all throughout the Commonwealth through funding provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS).

Technical assistance (TA) is provided by expert staff through MassTAPP; they then connect with local municipalities and providers to offer:

  • Prevention services.
  • Educational programming.
  • In-person networking events.
  • Peer-to-peer learning.

Another statewide preventative effort is offered through the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (MOAPC), which provides funding to local communities and organizations as well. The Massachusetts BSAS reports that 192 cities and towns are serviced through BSAS-funded prevention programs.

Prescription Addiction Treatment Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, benzodiazepine addiction is commonly managed through inpatient drug treatment or outpatient addiction treatment programs. Because of the potentially life-threatening consequences that can occur during benzo withdrawal, an inpatient medical detox may be recommended to help ensure a patient’s safety and comfort.

AdCare Treatment Centers offers:

Our facilities and clinical team provide a variety of care levels and services, depending on the individual and their specific circumstances. Compassionate admissions navigators are available 24/7 to answer your questions about the rehab admissions process and verify your insurance coverage for addiction treatment.

You can also quickly and securely now.

Don’t let addiction take control of your life any longer. Call us today at to learn more about our comprehensive addiction treatment programs in New England.

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