Xanax Addiction & Benzo Abuse Statistics
Each year, the number of prescriptions written to patients for the drug Xanax continues to increase, and as a result, it also becomes one of the most widely abused drugs on the market. While Xanax is a powerful and effective drug classified as a benzodiazepine used to primarily treat anxiety in patients, it can also produce feelings of euphoria if abused by patients in excess or by those who do not need the drug to fight anxiety and function normally. Keep reading to learn more about Xanax addiction and abuse statistics as addiction and abuse of Xanax can be physically and mentally debilitating for those who use it. In extreme cases, Xanax addiction and abuse can result in death for the abuser.
What is Xanax?
As previously mentioned, Xanax is the brand name of a type of drug known as benzodiazepines, otherwise known as “benzos.” Drugs like this are becoming increasingly popular among doctors, and mental health professionals to be prescribed to their patients to help treat cases of anxiety. Most recent Xanax Addiction statistics indicate increases in writing these prescriptions for patients has increased 9 percent annually over the past few years.
Not all patients who struggle with anxiety and other mental health disorders are encouraged to take benzos like Xanax, and instead use other methods of treatment and medications to treat their anxiety. However,for those who suffer from extreme panic attacks, a drug like Xanax can be life-saving. However, when abused and used in excess, the patient (or abuser) can suffer a variety of ill effects including addiction, brain damage and even death.
Xanax Addiction Statistics:
- According to recent Xanax addiction statistics (as of 2015), there are more than 50 million prescriptions for drugs like Xanax written in the United States each year.
- The number of prescriptions specifically for Xanax climbed from 29 million to 35 million in the span of 5 years.
- As a result, it’s become the 9th most popular drug; fifth most popular of all prescription drugs.
- Xanax, like other benzos, should not be used long term to treat anxiety. Most medical professionals recommend short-term use or risk Xanax addiction because it is common for a person to develop a physical and mental tolerance.
- Because of this tolerance, about 30 percent of Xanax users report a return in their symptoms after long-term use. This is why many patients have to increase their dosage of the drug in order to achieve the same effect. Taking more of the drug can be increasingly harmful on the body and can quickly cause a person to become addicted to the drug.
Xanax Abuse Statistics:
- Nearly half of all teens believe that prescription drugs are “safer” to abuse than street drugs.
- Those who suffer from an addiction to Xanax may take upwards of 20 to 30 pills each day.
- Over 124,000 reported ER visits as a result of benzo abuse were reported by recent Xanax abuse statistics in 2011. Sadly, that number continues to be expected to climb as more prescriptions for Xanax are written each year.
- Even those who haven’t been prescribed Xanax can get their hands on the drug if they have the desire to try and get high using a benzo. It is especially dangerous for persons like this to use the drug, especially if they don’t need it to treat anxiety or panic disorders.
- About one in 11 high school students have reported intentionally abusing Xanax at some point in their lives.
Xanax addiction and abuse statistics indicate a dangerous climb in the usage of these types of drugs, a higher likelihood of them being abused by patients and an increase in the benzos making it into the hands of young adults and teenagers who are more likely to intentionally abuse the drug rather than it being used as intended. The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports in these recent stats that while opioids are still a bigger threat to the safety of public health – particularly among teens and young adults – the abuse of benzos is on a quick rise. Overall, there were a reported 1.9 million cases. The most dangerous aspect of these drugs being abused is that many will use Xanax, or a similar drug, in combination with an even more dangerous prescription drug like an opioid in order to get high. These drugs combined can result in a deadly combination because it can cause the user’s breathing to slow and eventually cause them to fall asleep and that breathing to reduce dramatically to nothing. But the user is in such a deep state of sleep they are unable to remember to breath and never regain consciousness. This accidental overdose results in thousands of deaths per year.
Recent drug addiction and abuse statistics from 2013, indicate there were 23,000 deaths attributed to prescription drugs with 31 percent of that total amount being a result of misuse and abuse of benzos like Xanax, according to data from the Medical Expenditure Data Survey, which provides information to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a Xanax addiction, be sure to consult a medical professional right away to begin treatment toward weaning from the drug or to take advantage of a variety of rehabilitation centers and outpatient treatment programs to get you or your loved one on the road to recovery.