More women than men are using tranquillizers or sleeping pills. When men and women report similar psychological or psychosomatic symptoms, men are more likely to be given physical and laboratory tests, and women are more likely to be given drugs. Women are also more likely to be given a repeat prescription once they have been prescribed a minor tranquillizer.
Benzodiazepines, are sedative hypnotic anxiolytics (“depressants” that reduce anxiety). They significantly reduce brain activity but have been associated with a 35% increase in developing cancer and patients receiving hypnotics are more than four times likely to die than people who are not on the drugs. It appears that the dosage plays a key role. In addition, benzodiazepines are highly addictive and interact with neurotransmitters like GABA. It takes several months of regular use for a person to develop addiction, tolerance and significant withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines are being grossly over-prescribed according to data published in 2018 by the Journal of the American Medical Association:
It is important for doctors to properly address and treat what is bothering their patients so they don't have to resort to self-treatment or abuse of prescription medications.