Alprazolam is the generic name for the benzodiazepine sedative most commonly marketed under the brand name Xanax. Benzodiazepines are among the most problematic of all the drugs of abuse, resulting in strong physical dependence with severe withdrawal symptoms that can produce long-lasting consequences and may even be life threatening. Detoxing from benzodiazepines can be more difficult than detoxing from heroin.
The potency and speed of onset of a particular benzodiazepine has a direct correlation with its popularity as a recreational drug; alprazolam is a potent, fast-acting benzodiazepine and is the most commonly abused benzodiazepine.
Direct Consequences of Alprazolam Addiction on Communities
Statistically, benzodiazepine users display the worst effects of addiction and are prone to higher degrees of addictive behavior, poly-drug use, psychopathology and social dysfunction than any other group of addicts. Benzodiazepine addicts also engage in more HIV/Aids risk-taking behavior. This translates to very real costs to communities and to society at large. Entire communities can suffer the consequences of drug-related criminal behavior and must bear the costs for increased police presence, court costs and the expense of incarceration.
Benzodiazepine addiction is also harder to treat, and the physical and psychological ramifications of benzodiazepine addiction may necessitate expensive treatment procedures, hospitalization and even institutionalization. Addicts are often unable to bear the costs themselves, and communities must take up the slack, resulting in increased health care costs for everyone.
Indirect Consequences of Alprazolam Addiction on Communities
Alprazolam addiction can also result in less tangible, but no less devastating, effects on families, places of employment and communities at large. Families can be torn apart by the addiction of one member, and other family members may suffer a wide range of consequences, including estrangement, stress, depression or other psychological issues or their own substance abuse problems. Worker productivity suffers due to benzodiazepine addiction, which can cause a chain reaction of negative consequences on a company, thereby affecting all other employees and the financial health of the local or regional economy.
As a sedative and a hypnotic, alprazolam causes impairment of cognitive and motor skills in users, rendering them unfit to drive a car, operate machinery or engage in a host of other activities that require clear thinking and sharp reflexes. Nonetheless, alprazolam addicts typically continue to drive and work at their jobs, thereby putting virtually everyone at risk. An alprazolam user may cause an accident that can have devastating consequences for a completely innocent bystander.
The Importance of Access to Addiction Treatment and Recovery Resources
Addiction to benzodiazepine sedatives like alprazolam is a public health issue that must be faced by the community. Just as communities suffer from the effects of addiction, communities can also provide the solution. The combination of access to treatment resources for current addicts and education to combat future addiction has proven to be very cost-effective to communities, resulting in significant long-term savings. In other words, treating addicts so that they can become productive members of society and educating young people about the dangers of drug abuse is much more effective and much less costly in all respects than a strict law-and-order approach.
If you or someone you know needs treatment for alprazolam addiction or if you have any questions about alprazolam addiction, its effects on communities or approaches to treatment, please call our toll-free helpline today. Counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have and to help you find treatment if you need it.