As a psychiatrist that specializes in addiction, I see a lot of Xanax abuse and Xanax withdrawal with teenage alcoholism and teenage drug abuse. The same kids who participate in teenage binge drinking are the same ones who tend toward Xanax abuse. Teenage drug abuseoften involves prescription pills.
Here are 5 facts to know about Xanax abuse and Xanax withdrawal so you can educate your teen about the dangers of prescription drugs.
1. Xanax is a central nervous system depressant just like alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Xanax makes someone feel very relaxed, calm, and drowsy. Teenage drug abuse often involves prescription pills, not just illegal drugs. Xanax is one of the most common prescription drugs abused.
2. When Xanax is mixed with alcohol, the dose of Xanax is greatly increased. This depresses ones breathing. It is not uncommon for a teen to unintentionally overdose and die in an attempt to get high. Teenage alcoholism and teenage drug abuse go together and is a very dangerous combination.
3. Xanax is in a class of drugs called the benzodiazepines; more commonly known as “benzo’s”. On the street the yellow pills are called “School Bus”, the blue pills “footballs”, and the white pills “Xanax bars”.
4. The most common source for a teen to get Xanax is their parent’s medicine cabinet where it was most likely prescribed for anxiety. Xanax is cheap to buy on the street.
5. The symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include increased anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms and even seizures if Xanax is stopped abruptly.
The more educated we are as parents become about teenage substance abuse, the better position we are in to aid in prevention or intervention for our teens.
Lock your medications away. Talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol including prescription drugs. Talk about the dangers of mixing drugs with alcohol. Talk about teenage binge binge drinking leading to alcohol poisoning.
Don’t have an “accepting” attitude about teen’s experimenting with drugs and alcohol. It can cost your teen their life.