BTW-How many people need to go to treatment for aspirin addiction? That is such an odd argument. How many people would sell themselves for aspirin?
You are unaware that aspirin is a drug of abuse? That the problem is so serious that gastroenterologists are advised by their peak bodies around the world not to perform corrective surgery on aspirin (and other NSAIDs) abusers unless they are clean because so many will undo the work done by again abusing aspirin? I some countries, Thailand for example, NSAID abuse is almost an epidemic.
Take for example the study by Hirschowitz BI
, 1998, who performed corrective surgery on a random sample of 30 patients suffering from aspirin induced peptic ulcers. Half the sample denied taking aspirin though blood tests proved they were. Only 3 of these patients were able to stop taking aspirin after surgery, 27 (i.e. 90%) went right back to it, with 16 subsequently requiring surgery a second time. Of that 16, 8 then required surgery a third time because of aspirin use, and one had surgery a fourth time. Of the original 30, 4 died during the period of the study as a direct result of aspirin abuse (about the expected death toll if they'd all played Russian Roulette). How many of your primary BZD patients would continue to abuse these drugs if they required major surgery to repair BZD induced physical damage? I suspect none, and certainly not 90% of them.
The only reason aspirin (and other NSAID) abusers don't sell themselves for aspirin is because they don't have to. They can buy it by the cart load from any supermarket for peanuts. But they would if they had to. As Hirschowitz demonstrates, some are prepared to die for it.
Given the choice of tightening BZD use or imposing restrictions on aspirin I'd make the latter, and other NSAIDs, a lot harder to get. I believe it is a bigger issue than BZD abuse. The fact that you, and afaics the ASAM, are blissfully unaware of the pitfalls of this med is, IMHO, very telling about the state of the specialty.NOTE:
for those spooked by the above, this is about the abuse of aspirin, no one is going to end up selling their bodies to Walmart for an aspirin fix if they use the drug to relieve the occasional headache/fever, or take small daily doses to prevent heart attacks (though this should be done only on medical advice IMHO). When used wisely aspirin is a beneficial drug that has saved countless lives. But as with every med, it is not without risk and used carelessly can bite hard so if you begin needing it often then consult your doctor asap.
Last point on this topic which is growing increasingly tedious. I believe BZDs are as legitimate and as valuable anti anxiety treatments as antidepressants and therapy. So does the American Psychiatric Association, see for example their practice guidelines
for treating panic disorder. This doesn't mean I believe it is the universal 'cure,' or even a good treatment in every case. But I'm not about to warn people off them because a few run into difficulty. Every psyche drug has problems, some have far greater issues than those of BZDs (interestingly, some of them are now being increasing prescribed off-label for anxiety I suspect at least partly because of an unwillingness to prescribe benzodiazepines). Doing nothing carries even greater risks.