Xanax. Commonly referred to as “benzos,” “sauce,” “xannie,” “green monster” or “bars.” Xanax, or Alprazolam (generic term), is in the family of drugs classified as as benzodiazepines. Xanax was originally created to treat a variety of anxiety and panic disorders and can be very effective in helping those who struggle with panic attacks, insomnia, and severe anxiety. However, due to its overwhelmingly calming effects, Xanax has become increasingly popular on college campuses as the go-to drug amongst young people.
Xanax abuse on college campuses has become an epidemic, no doubt about it. The popularity of using Xanax in combination with alcohol has become widespread, as the effects of Xanax are heavily increased if taken with alcohol. But you guessed it — from a prescription standpoint, it clearly states combining Xanax with alcohol can result in horrible side effects, including suicidal thoughts and tendencies, impaired judgment and seizures. Not to mention, it’s a surefire way for college kids to “black out” if Xanax is taken with alcohol.
But from someone who suffers from severe anxiety and panic disorder, while you’re taking Xanax bars and abusing them to make your Saturday a little more interesting, there are people out there who rely on Xanax to get through some days, some hours even. Let me be clear: I am in no way downplaying addiction. And Xanax, being highly addictive, is a recipe for disaster if it gets into the hands of someone who doesn’t genuinely need it.
So before I go further, please, if you or someone you know suffers from addiction, please seek out your nearest counseling center or call an addiction hotline; there are several great hotline resources available online. (One of which is 1-800-662-HELP , powered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
The truth is, I’m angry. I’m not angry with addicts. That is a mental illness, and I empathize with those who suffer from a mental illness because I know what battling your own brain and thoughts feels like. I don't, however, know what it's like to be an addict. And I cannot begin to imagine what that is like.
But with the rest of you who abuse Xanax, I’m mad at you. If you and your buddies find it “funny” to get “barred out” every few nights and wake up not remembering what you did just for the hell of it, please remember that there are people out there who suffer from mental illness and sometimes, Xanax is their only hope.
Sometimes, there are instances when anxiety and panic attacks overcome someone to the point where a small pill is their only chance at finding some sense of normalcy and relaxation.
And sometimes, that small pill prevents us from hyperventilating until we’ve entered hyperventilation electrolyte imbalance, causing us the inability to walk or feel our hands and feet.
Sometimes, when anxiety and panic overcome you and you’re physically and mentally impaired, a pill can seem like a lifesaver. Xanax, when taken appropriately in situations of severe anxiety and panic attacks, can be that lifesaver.
But when you decide to get barred out with your buddies then chug your subpar, cheap vodka along with it, I get angry. Millions of people across the country are angry at you. Because the truth of the matter is, if your “friends” are egging you on to take another bar just so you can black out and be ignorant whilst mentally and physically impaired, they aren’t your friends.
Do yourself a favor and find some new ones who are less idiotic.
And more importantly, quit ticking us off. Quit ticking off the 18 percent of Americans who suffer from an anxiety disorder, and quit ticking off the 2.8 percent who suffer from panic disorder. And while you're at it, quit giving people with anxiety or panic disorder a bad name. I hope you realize every time you get barred out, black out, and wake up on the couch of someone you don't know, those people know you did Xanax. And when you tell them thinking you look like a badass, all they'll remember when they hear someone suffering from severe anxiety is you.
They'll remember your face. And they'll remember the stupid things you did when you were barred out.
And they'll think we're just as crazy.
And that's the last thing people who suffer from anxiety need.
Because everyone under this umbrella of anxiety disorders is already angry at you. Really, really, angry. Quit making light and jokes out of a drug that helps us on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
I’m not just angry, though. I feel sorry for you people. I feel sorry for the ones who can only find fun in abusing drugs and alcohol. I feel sorry for the ones who think Xanax is some big joke when you can’t relate to those who suffer from panic attacks and severe anxiety. I feel bad that the only place you can find comfort or fun is within a bar and a bottle of green label Evan Williams. I feel bad that you have stooped that low to impress your friends, or a guy, or a girl by getting blacked out of your mind.
I feel really, really bad for you.
So please, on behalf of those who actually benefit at times from our Xanax prescriptions that you don’t, can’t and won’t obtain, please stop. Stop making Xanax into a joke. Stop making prescription drugs in general into a joke. There are people out there who need them, who rely on them, who trust them to get through their hours, days, weeks or months of severe panic and fear.
The joke is over.