How Do Benzodiazepines Impact A First Responder?

By Safe Call Now Admin Staff

Prescription medications may not seem like much of a risk for first responders. After all, your doctor prescribed this treatment to help you with an issue. Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin and others can provide relief from anxiety, insomnia, social anxiety disorders and even alcohol withdrawals.

However, even following your doctor’s orders carefully can put you at risk for dependence or addiction. Let’s take a look at some of the effects benzodiazepines can have on the body.

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The First Responder Who Becomes The “Accidental Addict”

By Dr. Maryann Rosenthal Ph.D.

Today, millions of Americans suffer with all kinds of physical concerns that cause them serious pain.  They are in need of pain management to help them function and are often prescribed appropriate medications to help them cope and manage their condition. However, because these drugs are so powerful and their need so great, bodies can build up a tolerance for the medications.  They then need more of the drug to obtain the same effect.  Eventually they can become overly dependent on these drugs, which can have a very negative effect on their quality of their life.

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First Responders & Medication… A Very Complicated Matter

By Sean Riley

Here’s something I see way too often when the public safety profession contacts the Safe Call Now 24 hour national hotline.  First responders being over prescribed medication or prescribed medication that may not be necessary for what they’re currently presenting medically.  Let me give you an example; In general when a first responder is exposed to a traumatic event it is common that they may feel depressed, anxious and unable to sleep.  They’re searching for answers to these problems and they pay a visit to their family physician.

Too often the first responders report to me that they are prescribed anti-depressants, sleep aids and benzodiazepines (something like Xanax) to deal with these issues.  I always say that when you are prescribed with this combination of prescription medications for an extended period of time (I refer to them as the “magic” three), at some point we at Safe Call Now will be dealing with you.  I see it happen every day.

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