Is Alabama on a fast track to ending prescription drug addictions? They are becoming the FIRST state in the US to reclassify Schedule IV drug, Xanax, to a Schedule II drug, which puts it on the same level as painkillers like oxycodone and fentanyl.
Dr. David Herrick thinks that this will save lives, stating, “Now you will not be able to get refills and you’ll have to see your doctor a little more frequently to get the medication and you also can’t call it in.”
The vocal proponent of making Xanax as a Schedule II Drug says the highly addictive anxiety medicine is a contributing factor to a significant number of overdose deaths.
“When you take a medicine like Xanax, along with something else whether its alcohol or an opioid, it magnifies it, multiplies the effect. So you don’t really know how much it’s going to affect you. it may affect you way more than you’re hoping, it may put you to sleep forever,” said Herrick.
Dr. Herrick says Alprazolam is finding its way into our schools and the streets.
“I think the medications when used appropriately are safe in general but there’s always some risk and I’m not calling this a dangerous medicine I think it’s a medicine that needs respect and it needs to be used more carefully because overuse is where the danger comes in,” said Dr. Herrick.
Herrick admits that this creates more work for physicians and pharmacists but he says it’s worth it.
“Reclassifying it makes it a little more challenging for both physicians and pharmacists. It’s a little bit harder to get it, you can’t casually pick up the phone as a physician and call in something for someone so it just makes it a little bit more difficult, it makes physicians think a little bit more about this medicine before they prescribe it,” said Herrick.
Our country is facing an epidemic of prescription drug addiction, and every step like this helps.