R.I. use of prescription sedatives is 4th highest in nation

July 2, 2014 3:22 AM

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island ranked fourth-highest in the nation for its use of prescription sedatives, higher than any other state in New England or the Northeast, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Benzodiazepines — the class of sedatives sold under such brand names as Xanax, Ativan and Valium as a treatment for panic disorders or anxiety — are commonly prescribed in combination with opioid pain relievers, the report said, despite the increased risk of overdose.

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