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Chris Cornell Reminds Us of Healthy Alternatives to Prescription Drugs

30 May

The tragic death of 52-year-old grunge rock icon, Chris Cornell, highlights our mounting national concern over the overuse of prescription drugs and the opioid epidemic assailing us.

Evidently Cornell told his wife he had taken too much Ativan after his Detroit concert. We know Ativan is highly addictive and can produce some unpleasant – even dangerous and suicidal - side effects. Its generic name, Lorazepam, is part of a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines or benzos.

Valium is another well-known benzo. Back in the 80’s, before docs knew about its addictive nature, Valium was dispensed like candy to anyone complaining of feeling nervous, unsettled, agitated or panicky.

Other meds are now recommended for anxiety first – SSRI’s and anti-depressants.

But even before offering those, mind-body and integrative medicine techniques are more and more frequently suggested first... And for good reason, because they often do as well or better with anxiety; and without the unfortunate side effects.

I can show you scores of randomized clinical trials demonstrating how guided imagery and meditation reduce anxiety, ease stress, remediate posttraumatic stress and prevent panic attacks. 

To be fair, other techniques and practices do, too: yoga, acupuncture, Reiki, biofeedback, exercise, breath work, aromatherapy and massage. So you can pick the modalities that suit you best. And by the way, a lot of these methods just inherently feel great, over and above the reduction in symptoms they deliver.

So before you pop that pill for anxiety, why not check out some sound samples of guided imagery or meditation? See if something feels really sympatico. I suggest you start with Anxiety & Panic; Stress & Anxiety; and Free Yourself from Anxiety.

Let the loss of this talented musician, writer and singer remind the rest of us that there are better ways to handle distress, right at our fingertips. Let’s use them.

Take care and be well,

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Belleruth 

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award