Alprazolam is a commonly prescribed medication used to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks and moderate to severe stress. The common brand name for alprazolam is Xanax, and it is a common central nervous system depressant which has been classified as a Schedule IV controlled drug.
Who Is Affected by Alprazolam Abuse?
The rise in alprazolam and other drug abuse is an international issue, and many governments, educational and medical institutions are becoming more active in funding research studies to understand who is affected, what is causing this increase and whether there are opportunities to turn this pattern around. Some of the research findings include the following:
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) found that benzodiazepines, a class of drugs which includes alprazolam, were the most recreationally abused pharmaceuticals
- According to IMS Health Xanax is the fifth most commonly prescribed drug in America, and prescriptions increased from almost 30 million to close to 40 million in the last 5 years
- Three million Americans (1.6% of the adult population) have used a benzodiazepine on a daily basis for at least 12 months
- The primary reason for alprazolam misuse is how readily available the drug is
Some of the most alarming findings of these research efforts are related to alprazolam and other drug use by teens and young adults. These statistics include the following:
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 1.9 million teenagers age 12-17 abused prescription drugs in 2008
- NIDA reports that teenagers have the highest rate of prescription drug abuse
- Each day an average of 2,000 teenagers use a prescription drug without a doctor’s guidance for the first time
How Culture Influences Alprazolam Abuse
Alprazolam is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks and moderate to severe stress, but the largest population of those who abuse alprazolam and similar drugs are teens. This suggests that culture plays in role in creating feelings of stress and anxiety in teens and young adults.
Our culture is focused on the latest and greatest technology tools. While technology helps people communicate and can increase productivity, other forms of technology include solitary entertainment devices which encourage teens and young adults to spend significant amounts of time isolated from others while engaging in activities that often have no basis in reality. This can lead to feelings of stress in social situations or can lead to feelings of loneliness or distance from others. Individuals may attempt to self-medicate these feelings with alprazolam.
Another large cultural pressure that can contribute to alprazolam use is focus on appearance. This focus discourages the creation of healthy self-esteem. A young adult that suffers with low self-esteem may be more strongly influenced by peer pressure and may make poor decisions in an effort to fit in. If you suspect a friend or family member is abusing alprazolam, let this person know that you are aware of his or her struggles and that you want to help.
Get Help for Alprazolam Abuse
Call our toll-free helpline to ask questions about your or a loved one’s alprazolam use. We are available to help 24 hours a day. We want to help you find the resources you need to overcome cultural influences and end alprazolam abuse or addiction. Don’t let alprazolam addiction control your life; call now.