When you abuse a drug, it doesn’t matter what you call it. You are putting yourself at risk, but you are also in a great position to reach out for help and find health and recovery. If you misuse Xanax, you are misusing a powerful drug normally prescribed to treat anxiety, panic and stress disorders.
You can misuse Xanax even if you have one of these disorders or have a prescription from a mental or physical healthcare provider.
Substance abuse happens any time you take a drug without a prescription or differently than prescribed. So even if a doctor gives you Xanax, if you take it more often, in greater doses or for different reasons than intended, you are abusing it. And this abuse puts your mental and physical health at risk while setting you up for addiction.
While Xanax is a popular brand name, you may be more familiar with its generic name, alprazolam. Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine. This class of drug may also be referred to as benzos.
Other benzos and their brand names include the following:
All of these drugs can treat anxiety, panic and stress by calming the brain. The Oschner Journal explains that benzos like Xanax bind to GABA receptors so that this neurochemical cannot. This makes neurons less excitable and leads to almost immediate symptom relief.1 This relief, or the “high” benzos provide, comes with side effects that can include amnesia, respiratory depression and more. Use can lead to misuse, abuse and addiction.
Xanax abuse and addiction are rarely intentional. In fact, many addictions develop from doctors’ prescriptions. Xanax use quickly leads to tolerance and dependence. Individuals may find themselves using this drug 3 or 4 times a day or taking up to 20 or 30 pills daily.
Tolerance means that users have to continually increase their dose to achieve the initial desired feelings or “high.”
When a person is taking more Xanax than prescribed or taking it without a prescription, he or she may have to turn to friends, family members or a drug dealer. This is when and where Xanax’s slang or street names are most often used. Xanax is sometimes given a nickname based on the color or shape. Pills may be white, yellow or blue and come in varying doses.
Names can include the following:
Different strength pills also differ in price. Some typical costs for Xanax include the following:
These prices depend on availability and the difficulty or expense of obtaining them. Additionally, they may not contain Xanax at all or may contain other drugs as well. “Manufacture of counterfeit medications has increased with the epidemic of prescription drug abuse,” reports CBS News, adding that overdose deaths have increased dramatically due to Xanax being laced with other, more powerful, drugs like fentanyl. No matter the name used, Xanax abuse can be dangerous. Getting help for addiction puts an end to these risks.
If you or a loved one is addicted to Xanax, reach out for help. It’s never too early or too late to speak up. There is hope and health on the other side of addiction, and you can find it. We can help. We’re here to connect you to the best resources for immediate and long-term recovery, and we’re here any time you need us. Call 615-490-9376 now.
1 Griffin, Charles, et al. “Benzodiazepine Pharmacology and Central Nervous System-Mediated Effects.” The Oschner Journal. Summer 2013.
2 Thompson, Dennis. “Fake Xanax Can Be a Killer.” CBS News. 10 Aug. 2016.