Xanax is a Central Nervous System (CNA) depressant known as benzodiazepine which is commonly prescribed by physicians to treat panic attacks, nervousness, and tension. Xanax, also known as alprazolam and considered to be a Schedule IV controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).
Xanax has been used as a tranquilizer since the 1960s with strong opposition to the use of benzodiazepines in the 1970s. Today with approximately three million Americans (1.6% of the adult population) have used benzodiazepine on a daily basis for at least 12 months.
According to the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and under the CSA all controlled substances are rated on a five-schedule system. Schedule V, is the lowest for the potential for abuse or dependency and I, is the highest. Xanax is a Schedule IV. All Schedule IV controlled substances have the following attributes:
1.A low potential for abuse
2.A currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States
3.If abused, may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence
Other examples of drugs included in schedule IV are Darvon, Talwin, Equanil, Valium and Xanax.
Although there are many benefits to taking Xanax and other Schedule IV drugs many patients are becoming addicted and therefore require an intervention and drug treatment program to overcome their addictions. The patient’s body can also build up a tolerance to the drug and require larger doses if taken for long periods of time. With these increases in Xanax use come physical and psychological dependencies. Xanax is not a drug you should quit cold turkey.
Patients who stop taking their medication experienced withdrawal symptoms such as:
The National Institute on Drug Abuse found during a two-year treatment outcome study that fifteen percent of heroin users also used benzodiazepines daily for more than one year and seventy-three percent used benzodiazepines more often than weekly. Studies also indicate that from five percent to as many as ninety percent of methadone users are also regular users of benzodiazepines.
With this information in mind the Xanax abuse treatment involves careful monitoring and counseling in an in-patient or outpatient treatment facility. The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) report on benzodiazepines revealed that eleven to fifteen percent of the adult population has taken a benzodiazepine one or more times during the preceding year but only one to two percent have taken benzodiazepines daily for twelve months or longer.