Xanax Use Among College Students Reaches "Epidemic" Proportions

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How Xanax Became the Collegiate Drug of Choice

Xanax (alprazolam) is a drug prescribed to treat people with anxiety disorders or depression. Common uses include treatment for anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia. However, Xanax has recently grown in popularity among college students. Many take Xanax to maximize the effects of alcohol. Some students even report that people in bars slip Xanax tablets into other people's drinks without them knowing. One doctor described collegiate Xanax use as an "epidemic."

Because it has become popular to slip Xanax into people's drinks, those who visit bars or clubs must closely watch their drinks at all times. Don't think it can't happen to you.

The only lawful means of getting Xanax is through a prescription, but even some with a valid prescription over-use and misuse the drug. On the street, Xanax is sold in milligrams and can be purchased in two forms: pills and bars. Xanax bars are much stronger than pills.

Obviously, using Xanax to get a better buzz isn't one of the approved uses of the drug. The warning label specifically states that it is not safe to combine Xanax with alcohol. Xanax and other anti-anxiety drugs can be habit-forming and extremely dangerous if used in ways not intended.

Another common use of Xanax is to decrease the effects of coming off an ecstasy high. College students who take ecstasy can suffer severe anxiety when the effects of the drug start to wane, so they take Xanax. College students now widely identify Xanax as a party drug that couples well with other drugs and alcohol.

Xanax is in a class of drugs known as Benzodiazepines. All drugs in this category possess mood-altering properties, but Xanax works more rapidly and has effects that are unique from other Benzodiazepines. Not only does Xanax maximize the effects of alcohol, but alcohol maximizes the effects of Xanax. The result is severely impaired judgment.

Doctors warn that addicts should avoid trying to quit Xanax cold turkey. Abruptly stopping Xanax after a period of abuse can result in seizures and other severe side effects such as suicidal thoughts, burning sensations, and cramping. Talk to a doctor about the best method for coming off Xanax, as this is one of the most difficult drugs to come off of.