Xanax and Its Effect on Developing Brains

Consider the xanax effect on developing brains and turn to Waterford Counseling for help for your teen.

Xanax is a highly addictive drug typically used to treat anxiety. Its official name is Alprazolam, which falls under the class of Benzodiazepines. Because they have such a calming effect, drugs like this are easy to build a tolerance to and they’re highly addictive. Xanax is also dangerous because it is getting increasingly easy to obtain. Roughly 49 million Americans have a Xanax prescription, and that doesn’t include prescriptions for related drugs in the same family.

These statistics are shocking, however they alone do not account for everyone with a Xanax addiction. Many people report stealing drugs from their family and friends medicine cabinets, or buying prescriptions from people who don’t use them. It is reported that 2.2 million teens ages 12 and up have abused Xanax or a similar tranquilizer in their lifetimes.

As if that weren’t bad enough, teens that abuse Xanax often take it with alcohol at the same time. Because both drugs are depressants, they enhance each others side effects. Drowsiness, dizziness, an increased feeling of being drunk, mood changes, and a feeling of sedation are typically what people look for when they mix the two drugs.

Alone, these two can be dangerous but when taken together, the results are often irreversible. Some long term effects can include memory loss, low blood pressure, mood disorders, a weakened heart, cancer, brain injuries, a coma, and death. The potential to overdose is extremely high, due to the repression of the central nervous system.

(American Addiction Center)

When teens with developing brains abuse drugs, it permanently inhibits their brain’s development. In fact, 18% of teens had abused prescription drugs at some point in their life, with 12% having used within the last year. Prescription drug abuse is popular because many believe that because they come from a controlled environment, unlike heroin, cocaine, or meth, that they are safe. That is simply not true. In 2009 alone, 4.5 million people were admitted to the emergency room for prescription drug misuse, with 19% of those patients being teenagers.

Overdosing is extremely common, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Between 1999 and 2015, over 6,500 teens have died from overdosing Benzodiazepines alone. This does not include those who died from the complications or co-occurring illnesses from addiction.

Xanax abuse is becoming very prevalent in pop culture today. Many singers and rappers openly talk about their use in their songs to seem cool and edgy, completely disregarding their very impressionable fan bases. Some teens may think its okay because their favorite artist regularly abuses Xanax and they’re still alive and successful. It’s important to educate your child on the facts of abuse and addiction, and to make sure they understand the consequences that come with their actions.

If you suspect your child or loved one is struggling with a Xanax addiction, don’t hesitate to give Waterford a call at 855-203-7240. We offer free consultations to help you and your family figure out what type of treatment works best for you.


Xanax Side Effects from Long-Term Use. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2017, from http://americanaddictioncenters.org/xanax-treatment/long-term-severe/

Concurrent Alcohol and Xanax Abuse. (2016, February 03). Retrieved August 21, 2017, from http://drugabuse.com/library/concurrent-alcohol-and-xanax-abuse/

Prescription Drugs. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2017, from https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-drugs

Teen Treatment Center Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2017, from https://www.teentreatmentcenter.com/blog/xanax-and-teen-alcohol-abuse-a-lethal-duo/

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