Seven Counties Services will stop writing new prescriptions for the popular anti-anxiety drug Xanax beginning April 1st.
Doctors and nurse practitioners at the agency will no longer prescribe Xanax for new patients. Patients already on the drug will slowly be moved to other drugs, and after December 31st, no further prescriptions for Xanax will be written for any patient.
Dr. Scott Hedges, senior vice president for medical services at Seven Counties, says he hopes patients will not go elsewhere to get the drug.
“Really our goal is to try to help these individuals get on a path of a healthier lifestyle choice. To get on a path of trying to find alternatives that don’t carry the risk of addiction. They don’t carry the risk of being diverted to misuse in our community, but can still treat their symptoms related to anxiety or panic,” he says.
Hedges says Xanax is the second-most abused prescription medication in Kentucky. He says nearly 2,000 of the agency’s 30,000 patients in Jefferson and surrounding counties are taking Xanax.