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For Insomnia, Toss the Sleeping Pills, Try Therapy

It may require more work, but researchers say the evidence supports pursuing therapy over pills

(Newser) - The American College of Physicians is issuing new guidelines on how to treat insomnia based on evidence suggesting that the side effects of sleeping pills are "underestimated," while the success of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-I) is compelling. "The evidence is quite strong that cognitive behavioral therapy is... More »

Fatal Overdoses of Common Anxiety Meds Are Spiking

'Benzos' such as Xanax and Valium overprescribed, say study authors

(Newser) - Opioids aren't the only drugs we should be concerned about when it comes to overdoses. ODs involving common anxiety drugs like Xanax and Valium are at an all-time high, and scientists fear plenty of lives will be lost before they fully understand why. In a new study , researchers found... More »

Warrant: Son Started to Plan Attack on Parents at Age 11

Ga. siblings accused of vicious attack said to be 'very nice kids'

(Newser) - "I'm sure they didn't just wake up and decide to kill their parents yesterday." That was a Gwinnett County police officer's speculation after two Georgia brothers allegedly drugged and attacked their parents earlier this month. It appears that conjecture may have been spot-on: A search... More »

America's ERs Have a Xanax Problem

Number has of alprazolam-related visits doubled between 2005 and 2011

(Newser) - As if Xanax users didn't have enough to worry about, the number of people visiting the emergency room due to complications related to alprazolam—the generic name for Xanax—has more than doubled in recent years, according to a new report. Alprazolam accounted for 10% of all ER visits... More »

Preschooler's Easter Egg Has Xanax Pill Inside

Police investigating in Michigan

(Newser) - Police in Michigan are investigating how a preschooler ended up bringing home a plastic Easter egg containing a generic Xanax pill. The 4-year-old girl found the egg during an Easter egg hunt at an elementary school, but her mother discovered the pill inside before the girl ate it. Police in... More »

Octomom Goes to Rehab

Nadya Suleman apparently has a Xanax problem

(Newser) - Nothing like having to arrange childcare for your 14 children so you can go to rehab for 30 days. That’s the predicament “Octomom” Nadya Suleman now finds herself in, TMZ reports. Apparently, Suleman finds balancing life as a single mom with a thriving porn career a bit stressful,... More »

Welcome to 'Ground Zero' for America's Pill Poppers

Kermit, West Virginia, home to die-hard addicts

(Newser) - A tiny coal-mining town of barely 300 people and no supermarket is home to one booming business: pharmacies. In Kermit, West Virginia, two Sav-Rites alone moved 3.2 million doses of hydrocodone in 2006—a tad more than the 97,000 doses the average pharmacy sells in a year, reports... More »

In Whitney's System: Valium, Xanax, Booze

Houston killed by combination of alcohol and drugs, insider says

(Newser) - Whitney Houston was killed by a combination of Valium, Xanax, and alcohol, an insider tells Radar . All three were found in her system, but the coroner is still waiting for toxicology results before the "major contributing factor of her demise" can be determined, the source says, adding that drowning... More »

Probe Launched Into Whitney's Prescriptions, Doctors

Medical records will be subpoenaed

(Newser) - The investigation into Whitney Houston's death is now turning to her doctors and pharmacies. Investigators are expected in the next few days to serve subpoenas on the singer's physicians and the pharmacies where Houston obtained multiple prescription drugs, reports the Los Angeles Times . Officials aim to determine whether... More »

37 Busted in FBI Raid on Boeing Plant

Prescription drugs allegedly being bought, sold illegally

(Newser) - A handful of workers at Boeing's Ridley Park plant were apparently doing more than building military aircraft: The FBI today arrested 36 current and former employees, along with a 37th individual, who were allegedly involved in illegally distributing prescription drugs. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the arrests follow a... More »

Drug Deaths Soar Past Traffic Fatalities

Blame prescription drugs for drug-related deaths doubling over decade

(Newser) - For the first time since the government started tracking drug-related deaths in 1979, narcotics have topped traffic fatalities—37,485 for drugs vs. 36,284 for accidents in 2009 (the most recent year available), reports the LA Times . But the big culprit isn't street drugs: it's prescription pills... More »

Prescription Drugs Found in Dead Surfer's Room

Friends say addiction not plausible

(Newser) - Speculation is swirling around the death of surfing great Andy Irons after police found a variety of prescription drugs in his Dallas hotel room. Police reports indicate that Irons had generic versions of Ambien and Xanax, and the county medical examiner told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that one of the bottles... More »

We're a Xanax Nation

It's the most-prescribed psychiatric medication

(Newser) - Xanax is king in America—the anti-anxiety drug was prescribed more than any psychiatric medication in 2009, according to PsychCentral . We're a "zonked out" nation, observes Hamilton Nolan at Gawker , noting that the "first speed prescription" (amphetamine salts) doesn't show up until No. 11. Here's the top 10:... More »

Cocaine Contributed to Billy Mays' Death: Autopsy

Painkillers, Valium, Xanax also found

(Newser) - Cocaine figured into Billy Mays’ death, TMZ reports. An autopsy found traces of the drug in Mays' system, suggesting that the TV pitchman used it a few days before his death. The report lists “cocaine use” as a contributing cause of death, along with heart disease. The autopsy also... More »

Conn. Chimp Was on Xanax During Attack

Necropsy reveals that he was on drugs, overweight

(Newser) - The chimp that mauled a Connecticut woman in February, rendering her blind, had a small dose of antidepressant Xanax in his system, a necropsy has revealed. At 200 pounds, Travis was also severely obese. Police haven’t ruled out criminal charges against the owner, who is embroiled in a legal... More »

Andy Dick Faces Sex, Drug Charges

Comedian allegedly pulled down a teenager's top

(Newser) - An "extremely intoxicated" Andy Dick pulled down the tank top and bra of a teenage girl outside a California restaurant, police say. The 42-year-old comedian faces a slew of charges, including sexual battery and public intoxication. Police found marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in his pockets, MTV reports. More »

Panicked? 8 Ways to Fight Back

No, you haven't lost it—be prepared for panic attacks

(Newser) - For 10 agonizing minutes, you think you've lost it: You're sweating and dizzy, your heart is racing, and you can't breathe. More than 25% of people experience the complete lack of control of a panic attack. Fight back with these tips from MSNBC:
  1. Remind yourself that a panic attack cannot
... More »

Accidental OD Killed Ledger

Autopsy results cite combo of sleeping pills, painkillers, and anti-anxiety meds

(Newser) - Actor Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose of sleeping pills, painkillers, and anti-anxiety medication, the New York City Medical Examiner's Office ruled today. OxyContin, Valium, Xanax, Restoril, Unisom, and ibuprofen combined to result in a lethal "acute intoxication," an ME spokeswoman told the AP.  More »

Killer Wrestler on Steroids, Family Sedated

Benoit's testosterone level was 10 times normal level

(Newser) - Wrestling star Chris Benoit's testosterone level was 10 times the normal level when he killed his wife, his young son and himself last month, a Georgia medical examiner has determined. Benoit's wife and son were also apparently sedated with prescription medication. Benoit had taken a cocktail of anabolic steroids, the... More »

Who Knew a Prius Was a Hot Rod?

Al Gore III, busted at over 100 mph, shows speedy side of green

(Newser) - As the exhaust clears following Al Gore III's joy-ride drug bust, an astonished public has zeroed in, not on the former veep's son, but on his little-Prius-that-could. Clocked at over  100mph before he was pulled over, Gore shattered the assumption that the Toyota hybrid sacrifices speed for fuel efficiency, the... More »

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