By Sandy Baker
The illicit use of prescription benzodiazepines like Xanax is on the rise, especially among teens. Using Xanax without a prescription creates a high risk for addiction and may lead to long-term addictive behaviors with more potent drugs.
Pop Culture & Prescriptions Drugs
Sometimes, Xanax use is coupled with the use of opioids. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 16% of all drug opioid overdoses also involved the use of benzos like these.
The rise in prescription drug use may be linked, at least somewhat, to depictions of it in pop culture. It’s easy to think back to rock-and-roll musicians of the recent past who romanticized the use of alcohol, cocaine, and hallucinogens. It was common to see people smoking or using alcohol aggressively in music videos but also in books, movies, and television.
More recently, the use of prescription drugs, including Xanax, Adderall, and Percocet, has been featured in pop culture. A significant number of rap songs, for example, now mention the use of these drugs and how they help the user to sleep, lower stress, or feel good. Some claim that the pop music that features Xanax is itself slow-paced and subdued, with sleepy or muffled voices.
People imitate those they respect. As a direct result, when musicians, actors, or sports professionals engage in taking these types of drugs, they encourage their fans to do so. Even if a celebrity is taking a drug like Xanax via prescription, for legitimate anxiety issues, it’s still likely that fans will try to imitate that use illicitly.
Things Are Changing
There is some good news. Just as celebrities and pop culture can lead to increased drug use, they can also help fix the problem. Some stars are coming out with clear messages not to take these drugs. For example, Lil Pup and Smokepurpp, two rappers, stated they will no longer use Xanax. Their goal was to help get teens and young adults to stop using the drugs for good. Lil Xan, who was widely recognized for his use of the drug, stated he would stop using it. He then wrote a song, “Betrayed” about how the drug cost him so much.
What Can You Do If You’re Using Xanax?
Not everyone using Xanax is doing so for the wrong reason. If you are taking the drug on your doctor’s recommendation as a way to manage anxiety, insomnia, or seizures, just make sure you follow the prescription to avoid any addiction risks–and make sure you keep the pills in a secure place so they cannot be stolen.
Addiction to Xanax can arise when a person is using it without a prescription or is using more than their prescription allows.
You may have an addiction to Xanax if you feel you need to take more than the prescribed amount, you’re using someone else’s prescription, or you feel muscle pain, insomnia, or slowed mental capacity if you do not use it. Some people also feel cravings to use the drug when they don’t use it for a short time. In these cases, addiction and dependence may be occurring.
It’s Worth Getting Help to Stop Xanax Addiction
Many people with Xanax addiction are at risk for health complications as well as progressing addictive behavior. The complications of Xanax abuse are numerous and permanent, especially with long-term use. It can:
- Interfere with a person’s ability to manage emotional responses in a healthy manner
- Cause problems with muscular coordination
- Create an increased risk for memory loss and forgetfulness
- Create an increased risk of aggressive and violent behaviors
- Cause long-term damage to the brain
This drug can be highly toxic when taken in large doses. Overdose is possible as well. That can mean sudden death.
We Are Here to Help
If you are using this drug and suspect you might be addicted to it, seek out treatment from our team at The Ranch at Dove Tree. Treatment for Xanax addiction can be effective, especially when you embrace help soon.