Is It Bedtime for Benzos?

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By Van Winkle’s

“Bernard also laughed; after two grams of soma the joke seemed, for some reason, good. Laughed and then, almost immediately, dropped off to sleep.”

— Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

It’s been a tough few years for benzodiazepines, the pharmaceutical industry’s top-selling family of prescription drugs. Tough in every way, that is, except sales: Xanax remains the world’s most popular pill, and U.S. prescriptions for it and other benzos grow by 12 percent every year.

It’s their reputation, long enjoyed, as harmless and effective medicines that’s taking a flurry of hits — some glancing, others on the nose. For starters, researchers have recently posited a at Van Winkle’s

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