The New York Times basically published a full page ad for Xanax disguised as a story about people taking medication for air travel anxiety. The piece discusses how more and more flyers are turning to prescription drugs to take the edge off a flight, which has become more anxiety provoking in the age of terrorism. It specifically mentions Xanax 4 times and as well as a host of other drugs, and fails to mention any counter-argument for the practice.

“Some fliers said they preferred a drug like Xanax to alcohol because its effects are typically mild. It does not make them spacey or fuzzy-headed, they said. They do not stumble off a plane as if their legs are filled with putty, making it appealing to business travelers who must attend meetings after landing.”

Obviously with targeted advertising and the head-spinning ease at which these drugs can be obtained, more folks are going for it. The part that bothers me as a clinician is just how easy it is to learn a handful of techniques to take the edge off anxiety that can also be applied in a ton of other domains of life, yet people turn to this instead. Furthermore, I myself have had some difficulty flying in the past, and a few cognitive techniques have made an incredible difference in being able to sit comfortably on a plane. This isn’t to say some people don’t experience significant benefits from taking medication for anxiety, but to me this is a clear case of over-medicating manageable symptoms.

 


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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Sep 2006
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Meek, W. (2006). Drugs for Flying. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 7, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2006/09/25/drugs-for-flying/

 

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