Tranquilizers Veselības projekti Latvijai


Tranquilizers are used for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia, but these symptoms are often a reflection of the problems of personal life or mutual relations or social-economic problems. The use of drugs for elimination of non-medical troubles is debatable, especially when the medicine could cause addiction. It has appeared in fact that any drugs for anxiety and insomnia – whether the previously used opiates or later applied bromides, chloral, barbiturates or modern benzodiazepines – cause addiction. Nevertheless, these drugs are prescribed to patients for years, as if there is no such risk at all. 2 860 110 lats were spent in Latvia in 2008 for the purchase of such remedies.

The problem is global. It concerns in particular women and elderly persons. Studies in many countries show that tranquilizers are prescribed to women twice oftener than to men. Studies in the USA show that 1/3 of all tranquilizers and more than a half of soporifics are prescribed to elderly people, who make 1/6 of all residents of the country. In Latvia, patients use benzodiazepines and other anti-anxiety remedies of all psychotropic drugs in 60% cases. It witnesses that these drugs are used not for the treatment of serious diseases, but as a solution to life problems.

Addiction risk is increased with the drug use length. It should be pointed out that drug efficiency reduces in the course of time. Ability of benzodiazepines to improve sleep is close to zero in two weeks of use. The application of benzodiazepines becomes also useless in the treatment of anxiety symptoms lasting for over 4 months, as the greatest improvement could be reached within the initial 6 weeks. It should be also pointed out that benzodiazepines do not cure the anxiety-caused disorders, they only suppress the symptoms, which may return, when the drug use is stopped.

The lack of control of the use of benzodiazepines, different information about the drug dosage and safety and irrational prescription of the drugs by physicians is a serious problem in most countries.

When citing, reference to the Society Veselības projekti Latvijai is obligatory.