Xanax is the general name of the benzodiazepine prescription medication alprazolam. Xanax is generally prescribed to individuals suffering from anxiety and panic disorders. While there are medical benefits to Xanax, like most prescription drugs, there is the possibility that it can be abuse and in recent years there are signs it is being used more recreationally than in the past.
From 2005 to 2010, emergency room visits due to recreational use of Xanax more than doubled from over 54,000 to almost 125,000. Similarly, overdose deaths due to benzodiazepines has seen a steep increase since 1999, from 1135 to 8791 deaths in 2015. The increase in recreational abuse may be a side effect of the spike in prescriptions and drugs available. Prescription rates for the anxiety drug have been climbing at a 9 percent rate since 2008. Also, data from the National Institute of Drug Abuse found that the use of benzodiazepines is high while the disorders that deem the drug necessary are low. In fact, only 20 percent of people who have used this type of drug received them from their doctor, others used other methods to obtain the drug.