Physicians at a Kentucky clinic have stopped writing new prescriptions for Xanax and its generic equivalent. It is a bold move in a state that has struggled for more than ten years with prescription drug abuse. Although Kentucky and other states have, for the most part, had a huge problem with prescription painkiller abuse, experts recognize that benzodiazepines, the class of drugs that include Xanax, are also abused on a large scale. Seven Counties Services knows that alprazolam (Xanax) was the eighth most prescribed drug in the country last year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 89 percent of visits to hospital emergency rooms between 2004 and 2008 were connected to nonmedical benzodiazepine use. In Kentucky, the mix of opiate painkillers and benzos, especially Xanax, is a common denominator in overdose deaths. “What they’re doing is a noble idea,” said Dr. Laurence H. Miller, who heads a committee on public and community psychiatry for the American Psychiatric Association.