Vanproyen v. Berryhill
In a recent case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Social Security Disability Insurance claimant was prescribed Xanax in 2009. Xanax is a fairly powerful (depending on the dose) benzodiazepine medication that is commonly used to treat various types of anxiety disorders and their symptoms. In this case, claimant was being treated for panic attacks, bipolar disorder, depression, and a general anxiety disorder.
One of the problems with Xanax and other benzodiazepines is that they are very addictive. We often hear a lot about how there is a major problem with opioid addiction in this country, and that is certainly true. However, opioids are either synthetic or natural derivatives of the opium poppy. This includes heroin, morphine, fentanyl, Vicodin, OxyContin, and many others. Benzodiazepines are not derived from natural or synthetic opium, but they are also very addictive as described above. Xanax was heavily prescribed in the 1980s, and that is when many were addicted. However, benzodiazepines are still prescribed today, and some patients do become addicted. In this case, claimant became addicted to Xanax, and this was noted in her court records as well as her medical records. Continue reading →