XANAX and Other Drugs Used to Treat Anxiety.
Drugs such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Halcion and Restoril are in a category of drugs called Benzodiazepines (“Benzos”) and are typically prescribed to treat patients suffering from anxiety and panic disorders. They also aid sleep and are prescribed for other reasons, e.g., Klonopin and Valium are also anti-seizure drugs. Benzos are central nervous system depressants, slowing down aspects of mental and physical health. They are highly addictive if taken over a prolonged period or in large quantities. It is important to remember that teens and young adults are more susceptible to addiction because of their developing brains.
Xanax. This is perhaps the most commonly abused Benzo and is the trade name of the prescription medication Alprazolam. Street names include Xannies/Zannies, Handlebars/Bars or Blue Footballs. Xanax bars are becoming increasingly common in Marin high schools, are 2 milligrams, shaped like a bar and divided into quarters.
Signs of abuse. These include, sleepiness, lethargy, lacking in motivation to engage in normal activities of daily life, slurred speech, monotone voice, appearing distracted, agoraphobia (not wanting to leave the house) and reclusiveness (avoiding other people). Benzos are known to slow down respiratory rates which alone can be dangerous as breathing slows. But when mixed with alcohol, another depressant (not uncommon among teens and young adults), their combined effect can lead to serious injury, coma or death.
After long term use, individuals may become even more reclusive, agoraphobic and scared of people, behaving more strangely, and have twitching eyes and a tense neck.
Slang terms. These include Candy, Downers, Downs, Chill Pills, Tranks, Tranqs, Totem Poles, Sleeping Pills, French Fries, Blues, Z-bar and Bricks.Mixing Benzos with Alcohol. Combining Benzos with alcohol is especially dangerous. Since both substances are depressants, that can greatly relax muscles and bring the central nervous system to a crawl, which can result in unconsciousness, coma or death. A slang term for a mix of prescription drugs with alcohol is “recipe”.