‘Harder than heroin’: America’s silent benzo epidemic

Addictions to drugs like Xanax are on the rise, yet the media has taken almost no notice


Imagine taking a pill that makes you instantly feel relaxed, and then imagine that when you stop taking it, you feel worse than when you first started.”

That’s how one user describes benzodiazepines, a psychoactive drug prescribed to treat insomnia, anxiety and seizures. But while “benzos” can have some short-term benefits, habitual use can cause long-term damage.

Another user writes that his benzodiazepine addiction was “harder to overcome than heroin.”

A young professional I interviewed said she’d never had addiction issues before trying benzodiazepines, which were prescribed by her doctor. “I was always averse to feeling addicted to any substance,” […]