What is Xanax?
Xanax is the brand name for the habit-forming and widely prescribed benzodiazepine medication alprazolam. Xanax is most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, sleep-related issues and, in some cases, the more severe and dangerous symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal.
In recent years, many medical professionals and addiction specialists have made an effort to shift the focus from opioid medications (which are notoriously habit-forming) to prescription drugs like Xanax. Not only are benzodiazepines more widely prescribed than prescription opioids, but they are now responsible for just as many cases of addiction and nearly as many overdose-related deaths. A study published by the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California explored the relationship between the overprescription of benzodiazepines and an increase in substance abuse cases, treatment admissions and accidental drug-related deaths. The study lists several statistics pertaining to benzodiazepine abuse and addiction, including:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between the years 2010 and 2014, nearly 30 percent of all opioid-related overdose deaths also involved a benzodiazepine like Xanax.
- Despite the fact that combining benzodiazepines and opioid painkillers is dangerous, medical professionals write prescriptions for both medications rather frequently. This combination of prescriptions is written twice as much as they were in 2001.
- Between the years 1996 and 2013 the amount of Americans being prescribed a benzodiazepine like Xanax increased from 8 million to over 14 million. The dosage being prescribed also increased significantly.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that people who combine benzodiazepines with opioid painkillers or illicit opioids like heroin are 10 times more likely to suffer an overdose-related death.
- NIDA also reported that in 2016 alone, 16 percent of all overdose deaths that involved an opioid narcotic also involved a benzodiazepine like Xanax.
If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of a Xanax abuse disorder, you are not alone. Guardian Recovery Center is available to help. Our comprehensive medical detox program offers clients a safe and pain-free Xanax detox. We also help with aftercare planning to adequately prepare clients to transition into the next appropriate level of clinical care.