Malibu, CA (PRWEB) January 24, 2013
A recent story by Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times covered The Food and Drug Administration’s official recommendation to lower dosages of prescription sleep aids (in particular, Ambien and prescription medication containing the active ingredient zolpidem) for women, following repeated laboratory studies and confirmed reports of dangerous and unintended aftereffects.
The negative side effects of sleeping pills (such as driving impairment, higher risk of injury, prolonged blackouts, and strange behavior) have been documented for years, and many addiction treatment professionals, clinical experts, and medical doctors have long urged the FDA to act, and more clearly communicate appropriate public health warnings. Sleeping pills and other prescription medications have drastically increased in popularity in the last decade. Many sleep aids are currently available over the counter, and as a result the number of individuals seeking treatment for addiction to sleep medication and other prescription drugs corresponds strongly with this growing popularity.
Pax Prentiss, CEO and co-founder of both Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura addiction treatment centers, responded positively to this recent announcement by the FDA. “It is commendable that the FDA has publicly recognized and acknowledged the effects of prescription medications, particularly sleep aids which most people incorrectly perceive to be harmless,” he said. “At Passages, we have noticed a significant increase in clients who are abusing prescription sleep medications. We also see a direct correlation between prescription sleep aid abuse and alcohol abuse, which is not coincidental and should be taken seriously. This announcement will create awareness regarding the risks of dependency and appropriate drug labeling. Perhaps most importantly, it will get people talking about how we as a society view prescription drugs.”
The FDA’s announcement emphasized the dosage for women because the body chemistry of women takes longer to metabolize the drug than that of men. The recommended dose for women was recently lowered to 5 milligrams from 10 for immediate-release products like Ambien. For extended-release products the recommended dose was lowered to 6.25 milligrams from 12.5. The FDA suggested that prescription drug manufacturers apply these lower doses to men as well, though it will not be mandatory.
“Passages Malibu was the first facility to develop a whole treatment program specifically targeted at prescription drugs abuse, because it has become a persistent and growing issue,” said Prentiss. “I hope that the FDA and other federal agencies can alert the public that the choice to use prescription sleep drugs should not be treated lightly and we will continue to do our part by treating prescription drug addiction.”
At Passages - Addiction Ends Here™
About Passages Malibu & Passages Ventura: Passages Malibu was named the “Number 1 Treatment Center in the World” by Healthcare Global magazine and also was mentioned as “One of The Most Luxurious Places to Dry Out” by Forbes magazine, and has earned the coveted JCAHO (The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accreditation, which has only been given to 6% of the nation’s behavioral health treatment programs. Both Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura accept insurance.
Founded by Chris Prentiss and Pax Prentiss, Passages Malibu opened in 2001 with its second location, Passages Ventura, opening in 2009. The two drug and alcohol abuse treatment centers offer an alternative to the 12-step/AA model of addiction treatment by using a holistic approach and a program that focuses on the underlying issues of substance dependency, rather than suggesting that addiction is an incurable disease.
The co-founders are also authors of the acclaimed series of treatment books that include their groundbreaking flagship book, The Alcoholism & Addiction Cure.
For general inquiries about treatment, contact: 866-233-1753
For media inquiries, contact: press(at)passagesmalibu(dot)com