Xanax: Do We All Have Anxiety?

xanax is not a solution to anxiety

Here’s your friendly reminder that there’s an outrageous drug problem going on in the U.S. right now and it’s not just opioids. Most people think about heroin and fentanyl when anyone mentions the drug crisis but lest we forget, there’s a huge benzo epidemic and an ever-growing meth epidemic.

A while ago I wrote an article that talked about the fact that what we’re looking at here is a “syndemic,” meaning that there’s 3 epidemics happening all at the same time and each is feeding off of and growing the next. Benzos have been an enormous problem for a while and I definitely don’t think it’s gotten the attention and credit it deserves.

Benzodiazepines are a class of drug known as anti-anxiolytics or anti-anxiety drugs. They’re basically pretty hardcore tranquilizers that have been used and abused since the 1950’s when Valium was known as “Mother’s Little Helper.” As years went on, more and more benzos were created, and each become stronger than the last.

Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are today’s most popularly abused benzos. Xanax is so popular amongst the millennials as a recreational drug that one of the most praised rappers is known as “Lil’ Xan,” which is @$*#$%! ridiculous. Xanax abuse has created a type of counterculture of its own and has a pretty decent sized following. Rap songs are filled with lyrics about “poppin’ xannies” and pop culture has seriously popularized the drug.

Sadly, what a lot of individuals involved with this culture don’t realize is that abusing Xanax is dangerous and they’re playing with their lives, especially if they drink on it.

I had one, just one, experience with Xanax and alcohol. I took a “bar,” which is the slang term for a 2mg Xanax tablet, took one sip of a beer and then my memory went blank. I came to the next morning, not knowing how I got home, where I had gone, or what I had done, but my car was parked outside so I clearly drove in a completely blacked-out state.

Scary, huh?

Kids don’t understand the gravity of their decision to take Xanax, and the thing is, kids aren’t the only ones hooked on this stuff.

While Xanax is extremely popular amongst the youth, it’s equally as popular among rich, white, retired women. I don’t understand what they could possibly be so anxious about, but they pop Xanax like it’s freaking candy. I guess getting a scratch on the new Lexus can lead to some sleepless nights and a case of the “jitters.”

Xanax bars

I can also testify to the fact of how easy it is to get a script for whatever dosage of Xanax, Klonopin, or Valium you want.

Anxiety is a pretty subjective thing and there’s no test for it. You can literally go into any doctor’s office, tell them you’re anxious and can’t sleep well, but “I’ve heard Xanax works great for that,” and they’ll give you whatever you want. It’s not like the doctor can say, “Well, your blood test was negative for anxiety so I’m not going to give you anything.” And the thing is, doctors don’t want to see anyone suffering, so they’ll give it to you, no questions asked.

While benzos are as popular as they are, most people don’t think about the addiction and dependence that can come with their use. Millennials and “desperate housewives” don’t realize that withdrawal from benzos can cause a grand-mal seizure and addiction could cost them their lives.

Our society really needs to pay attention to benzos as a major, growing problem and give it the attention it deserves. Working in a drug rehab, I’m seeing more and more people come in on benzos than ever before, which sets alarm bells off for me.

Let’s look at this drug for what it is. It’s a drug and can be dangerous if abused. If you know anyone who’s hooked on Xanax, get them help now, before they irreversibly damage their lives.


Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.