Elemental
Illustrations: Nejc Prah

America Has a Benzo Problem

Everybody talks about the opioid epidemic — rightfully so. But what about benzos?

Ever since benzodiazepines, a.k.a. “benzos,” were introduced in the ’50s and ’60s, primary care physicians and psychiatrists have been handing them out like candy. By the mid to late ’70s, benzos were already some of the most frequently prescribed drugs in the country.