Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine drug, used to manage the symptoms of anxiety disorders. This medication is only designed for short-term use, and has a high addiction potential. As a short-acting substance, Xanax has rapid onset, so it can reduce anxiety quickly. The drug produces a calming effect after binding to GABA receptor sites located in the brain. Excessive use of this drug will lead to a tolerance, and the user will have to take more and more to achieve a desired effect.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 61,000 people sought treatment for benzodiazepine abuse in 2011 alone. Xanax abuse is a growing problem in the U.S., and rates are rising on use and abuse statistics. Due to the potentially life-threatening symptoms associated with withdrawal from benzodiazepines, rehabilitation (rehab) centers can safely withdraw a person from these drugs through detoxification (detox).
Xanax abuse is not just an issue for adults; teens have access to prescription medications and now suffer from addiction issues as well. In a 2011 survey, 7 percent of teenagers reported that they used drugs for nonmedical reasons in the last 12 months. Among the drugs listed, Xanax was one that was popular among teenagers.