As many of my patients have seen, I’ve been featured on a few different local and national news networks. All of these interviews happened in a very quick window of time and involved three different topic areas: heavy alcohol consumption linked to deaths, benzodiazepine addiction, and opioid painkiller addiction. I posted the news links for these stories which show video and also print versions.
This article focuses on a Center for Disease Control report indicating that excess alcohol consumption (greater than 15 drinks per week for men; greater than 8 drinks per week for women) is linked to 1-in-10 deaths in the United States. Colorado showed a higher overall statistic at 1-in-7 deaths. These deaths included specific complications from alcohol use such as motor vehicle accidents or liver disease and also secondary issues such as suicide or heart disease.
This article is a personal-interest piece illustrating how one woman was prescribed benzodiazepines for her anxiety and eventually developed dependency to the medications. As in the above article, I was interviewed by local news at CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction, and Rehabilitation) on the University of Colorado Hospital campus. I have an overall ‘ban’ on the use of benzodiazepines for my patients and I feel that has been a very wise decision. The most important message I can give to people struggling with anxiety is one of hope that they can achieve good management of their anxiety through effective psychotherapy, safe medications, and the avoidance of benzodiazepines.
The final article also is a personal story of a woman who climbed the ladder from opioid painkiller addiction to heroin addiction. This video shows more of the landscape at CeDAR and also illustrates that recovery is possible. Look for my quote in the print article about painkillers being “gateway drugs” towards heroin!