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Painkillers And Benzos Increase Homicide Risk, Study Finds

Prescription Drug Homicide

Prescription pain killers and tranquilizing benzodiazepines — a class of tranquilizers known as “benzos” which are used to treat anxiety, panic disorders and insomnia — have been associated with an increased risk of committing a homicide, according to a recently published study in the journal World Psychiatry.

While pain relievers such as OxyContin and benzos such as Xanax, which are both central nervous system agents, have been linked to an increased risk of homicide, the risk with antidepressants proved to be slight in comparison.

Among the drugs analyzed by the researchers behind the study, which was published Monday, the high-risk drugs were shown to include both benzos and pain killers.

Dr. Jari Tiihonen, the study’s lead author and professor of psychiatry at the Karolinsksa Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, told Medical Daily that the he thinks “that these chemical substances affect the impulse control of the person” and that the “only surprising result” of the study ” was that painkillers also increase the risk.”

I think that these chemical substances affect the impulse control of the person (…) The only surprising result was that painkillers also increase the risk.

In the study, Tiihonen and his colleagues compared data on a range of psychotropic medications derived from national databases containing both prescription drug use as well as criminal activity. They analyzed the pre-crime prescription drug use of people convicted of homicide in Finland between 2003 and 2011.

According to CBS Atlanta, the study is the first of its kind.

The Finnish researchers behind the study accounted for mental illness. Still, the study’s findings found anti-inflammatory painkillers to more than quadruple the risk of homicide with a total risk increase of 206 percent. Benzos saw a 45 percent increase in risk, opiate painkillers a 92 percent increase and antidepressants came in with a, in comparison, lowly increase of just 31 percent.

Are you surprised by this study’s findings?

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