XANAX ADDICTION IN COLLEGE STUDENTS
XANAX ADDICTION IN COLLEGE STUDENTS
College is a time of incredibly high stress. Students have to balance work, classes, extracurricular activities, relationships, increasing competition in the workforce and the pressure of building one’s resume to make oneself competitive in their future career field. And that’s not to mention trying to have a regular sleep schedule, eating healthy and working out. XANAX ADDICTION IN COLLEGE STUDENTS
In addition, the prescribing of Xanax and the number of people admitted to treatment centers from its abuse have increased alongside each other. In 50 years, the production of Xanax has increased by 1000 percent. Today 50 million prescriptions of Xanax are written per year, compared to the 30 million that was written in 2003. At the same time, the couple thousand addicts who were in treatment homes twenty years ago has risen to more than 30,000 today.
Despite the potential for fatal consequences, a lot of college students don’t seem fazed by how dangerous the drug is. With nearly half of all college students using illegal drugs, substance abuse in college students is commonplace. In 2016, 42 percent of female college students used an illicit drug, and 45 percent of male college students did.
For college students, it is as if Xanax has become a sort of “miracle drug” to deal with the stresses of life. Though the drug is incredibly valuable — and sometimes even essential — for those who struggle with anxiety or panic disorders, it can be disastrous for those who use it without a prescription. It can also wreak havoc on the lives of those who have a prescription, but still abuse the drug, using it in ways that would never be recommended by a doctor.
The abuse of the drug is a public health crisis that impacts communities across the nation, leaving many dead and many others panged by the loss of loved ones. The first way we start addressing the issue is by becoming informed about the drugs themselves. Whether you’re a college student struggling with Xanax addiction, a student who has been tempted by Xanax, a concerned parent or someone who has a friend that has been impacted by Xanax, being equipped with knowledge about the drug could save your or someone else’s life.
WHAT IS XANAX?
As stated before, Xanax is a sedative. Xanax is the brand name for a drug called alprazolam.
It is a part of the benzodiazepine family of drugs, which are hypnotic drugs that can be used to help people become calm and relaxed. They’re used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, seizures and insomnia. To treat these types of issues, Xanax slows down brain activity and calms the user so that they no longer feel the symptoms of their anxiety — something that can be life-changing for people who struggle with panic and anxiety disorders.
Xanax accomplishes this by causing the release of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps regulate people’s moods. Once GABA releases into the nervous system. It sedates the mind, keeping the brain functioning at minimal levels and suppressing the feelings of anxiety and panic. When people who don’t deal with panic or anxiety use Xanax. It interferes with the natural release of the calming GABA neurotransmitter. This makes it so that when they stop using Xanax. They have trouble releasing GABA, making them more anxious than before they started using the drug. So though some might use it to take the edge off of a long day, they’re actually causing themselves more stressful emotions in the near future.
Though this is helpful for those who have panic disorders. It can be deadly when used in combination with other substances. College students often use Xanax to enhance the effects of other substances, but this is a dangerous situation. For example, when used with alcohol, it can stop your heart from beating. It can also hamper neural activity, or slow your breathing so much that you are killed. Plus, Xanax also makes you forgetful, so you might not remember how much you took and end up taking another dose again and again until it’s too late
A CULTURE THAT FUELS ABUSE
Despite the dangers of Xanax and other illicit substances. There has been a cultural shift in the U.S. in terms of attitudes toward prescription drugs. There is a growing acceptance of engaging in self-medication. Many show a sort of allegiance to the drug, outspokenly talking about their support of its illegal use. Rappers and artists have lyrics about Xanax and the high that it can provide. Stores sell t-shirts, jewelry and hats celebrating Xanax. Many U.S. citizens, especially students, don’t bat an eye when Xanax abuse comes up.
This sort of apathy to the dangers of Xanax only serves to exacerbate the problem. Rather than something that could easily lead to one’s death.
MENTAL HEALTH IMPACTS
Because of the way Xanax interacts with the brain, it can cause serious mental health problems, even psychosis. Many times, these issues occur during withdrawals, but they can also happen while the user is abusing them. We attribute these effects usually to long-term addiction. Possible symptoms include difficulty holding a conversation, speaking slower with slurred words, trouble recalling recent and past events, and a general lack of awareness.
And as the user becomes more tolerant to the drug, their brain essentially becomes saturated with alprazolam. The relaxation effects can then go a bit too far. As the continued exposure to the sedative can cause one to fall into depression. Addicts can feel sad, useless, and devoid of their usual energy. Sometimes, the depression can even lead to psychosis. And even if one recovers from their addiction. The toll the drug takes on someone’s mental health can cause permanent damage.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms. You should seek out the help of a professional immediately. Abusing Xanax is perilous, and there are people out there who can help.
But the most troubling thing about Xanax abuse is not the serious health consequences. But that many college students don’t know about them, or at the very least don’t know nearly enough about them. To make a better society and promote the safety of young adults. It is important for everyone to become informed on the drug abuse epidemic, and spread the word accordingly. Have you ever heard that knowledge is power? The same stands for Xanax.