Xanax is the trade name for the generic alprozolam, a short-acting drug from the benzodiazepine class. Xanax is a Schedule IV controlled substance. On the street, the drug is known as Z-bars, bars, tabs and Upjohn. The drug is available as an immediate and extended release formula.
Xanax is used to treat moderate to severe anxiety disorders, panic attacks and depression (when it is combined with other medications). It is also used by alcohol treatment centers for alcohol withdrawal. The drug possesses the properties of anxiolytic, sedative, hyptonic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant. It produces a calming effect on the brain and slows down the anxiety and panic.
A person may begin with a small dose of the drug and once they get relief from their symptoms, they feel that more of the medication would make the situation better and thus begin a journey to Xanax abuse. People with alcohol and drug abuse history, persons with personality disorders and chronic pain sufferers are more likely to become addicted to a medication than those who are taking it for a short term problem.
As with a lot of other drugs, such as OxyContin, Xanax has become very easy to obtain. Many people steal it from their families or buy it from someone who is taking it. There are even online pharmacies that do not require a prescription or any form of identification to get the drug.
It is ironic that a drug most often prescribed to relieve anxiety should have become a party drug. "Xanie-popping" is now a recognized activity among young people looking for thrills. A powerful depressant, Xanax (alprazolam) is among the many prescription drugs currently being diverted from medical use to satisfy the cravings of people looking to get high. Nearly 800,000 web sites sell prescription medication; only a fraction of them are legal or regulated. Xanax abuse contributed to the nearly 2 million cases of prescription drug dependence reported in 2007.
Even though Xanax is used to control anxiety and can causes sleepiness, abuse of the drug will often cause insomnia, anxiety, weakness and headaches. It is easy to overdose on the drug and some of the symptoms of drug overdose include headache, nausea, vomiting, and irritability. These are also the symptoms of withdrawal from the drug. Only a physician can decide when and how a person should decrease their use of Xanax.
While most people can take narcotic, antidepressant and stimulate prescription medication without any problems there are a large number that become addicted or dependent upon them. A recent study has shown that about 20 % of the U.S. population has used prescription drugs in a way other than prescribed. Cocaine, heroin and other drugs are widely abused but in recent years prescription drug abuse has become what many refer to an epidemic. Marijuana is still the number one abused drug in the nation.
Young people are very likely to try prescription drugs such as Xanax that are not theirs because if a medication works for one person, then it may do the same for them. Young people view prescription drugs as safer because they are prescribe by a doctor and are less likely to be addictive. Additionally, prescription drug abuse in the elderly is an increasing problem. A person that experiences depression and who has been given a prescription for Xanax will often think that is a little helps, then more is even better.
Treatment for Xanax abuse is similar to that of alcohol rehab in that not only is the addiction treated but the overall physical and mental health of the person addressed. Addiction is often caused by feelings of inadequacy. Once a person realizes that they are addicted then they can begin the road to recovery.