May 16, 2019 — Nicole Lamberson had what she now calls “the jitters.”

A newly minted physician assistant in a new job, she was having a hard time managing the stress that comes with a new career “and just life stuff.” Her doctor gave her a prescription for the popular anti-anxiety drug alprazolam — better known as Xanax — with instructions to take it as needed.

But Lamberson soon found herself struggling with worsening anxiety and insomnia when she wasn’t using Xanax, which is part of a class of commonly prescribed tranquilizers known as benzodiazepines. As her symptoms worsened, she saw a therapist, then a psychiatrist. She was diagnosed with depression and an anxiety disorder, which led to more prescriptions for more drugs. They didn’t help.