Alprazolam addiction is a public issue. Alprazolam, also marketed as Xanax, has become such a popular prescription drug and addiction to it is so pervasive in families and communities that no one can afford to ignore it. However, alprazolam addiction involves complex interactions of physical, psychological and social factors. A clear understanding of the issue is difficult to develop. Therefore, simplifications, generalizations and misperceptions of alprazolam and alprazolam addiction can influence people’s understanding of and actions around addiction, treatment and recovery.
Common Misperceptions about Alprazolam Addiction
Some people believe that using alprazolam is always harmful. Negative perceptions about the drug itself are very common. A popular bumper sticker that reads, “Stay off Xanax” sums up this perception of alprazolam. Variations of this perception can include:
- Conspiracy theories – Powerful organizations, like the government or drug companies, promote alprazolam
- Sloppy medicine – Doctors prescribe alprazolam instead of treating problems.
- Side effect emphasis – The long list of frightening possible side effects are the only effects alprazolam will have.
This view ignores the distinction between alprazolam use and abuse and makes the root cause of alprazolam addiction too simple.
Some people also believe that drug use stems from moral weakness and that individuals should be able to quit drugs through willpower alone. Self-control could be another kind of weakness perceived to be the cause of alprazolam addiction. Normal abilities of impulse control are expected be able to keep behavior in check despite any drug’s influence to the contrary.
But blaming addiction on the addicts’ “weakness” underestimates the power of the psychological and physical mechanisms that draw the user back to the drug again and again. Chemical changes in the brain once alprazolam dependence has developed make it nearly impossible to overcome addiction without professional treatment.
Prescription Drugs Like Xanax Are Still Addictive
Some people believe that because a drug is prescribed, it is always safe to use. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has, after all, approved alprazolam for sale and use. Many people focus too narrowly on the drug approval and the fact that it is prescribed by doctors. People who remember barbiturates may also focus on the great improvements of alprazolam and other benzodiazepines over those older drugs. Alprazolam does have a better safety profile than older tranquilizers, but the potential for addiction is still significant.
Barriers to Alprazolam Treatment
All of these misperceptions can harm actual addicts. Each one misrepresents the power of the drug and the addiction. These ideas also do not accurately depict the opportunity alprazolam addicts have to recover from the addiction. In short, addiction can affect anyone, but recovery is possible with the right help.
Learn More about Addiction Treatment
Whether you are addicted to alprazolam or want to help someone who is, getting the facts behind public perception is crucial to success. Call our toll-free helpline to learn more about what addicts can do to help themselves. Addiction treatment coordinators are available to discuss treatment options 24 hours a day.