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The pharmaceutical industry works continuously in developing better and safer alternatives to the products already being used by many people. Among the drugs of greater interest to the American people are those loosely referred to as “tranquilizers” because they make people feel better by combating depression, relieving anxiety, and enabling them to get some sleep. Drugs called benzodiazepines that directly affect the chemicals in the brain were developed because the world needed some better drugs than the barbiturates commonly used until the mid-twentieth Century.

Older people might remember how the early benzodiazepine drug called Valium or Diazepam became so popular in the psychedelic 60s. The medication that the Rolling Stones referred to as a “Mother’s Little Helper” became the most prescribed drug in the world for some years. In fact, national governments were called upon to improve the prescribing patterns for Valium, especially due to its high rate of abuse, especially among Americans. It seemed more important, however, to develop a better benzodiazepine.

What is Xanax?

Xanax, known by its international non-proprietary name or generic name “Alprazolam,” is one such improvement over earlier benzodiazepines.  This drug was developed and launched in the 1960s to provide the healthcare sector with a benzodiazepine which has more uses, has more available dosage forms, and has fewer contraindications and harmful side effects to worry about. It is also reputedly twenty times as potent as the already popular Valium.

Xanax can be taken as an orally disintegrating tablet for fast effect, an extended-release tablet for once-a-day dosing, or an ordinary tablet. It can also be taken in the form of a concentrated solution. Like all benzodiazepines, Xanax can only be acquired with a proper prescription or be administered by a licensed healthcare professional.

Why Xanax?

Apart from the usual benefits a patient can get from the older benzodiazepines, there are other conditions which can be treated with  Xanax such as depression, premenstrual syndrome, and agoraphobia or fear of open spaces. Unlike earlier drugs of this kind, Xanax is not aimed at addressing general anxiety or tension issues associated with the stress of daily life. It is employed against panic disorder or as a treatment for anxiety associated with depression.

Apart from these additional applications, the larger acceptability of Xanax is partly because of its applicability in both pediatric and geriatric indications. Xanax is often the drug of choice in acute situations in which the patients need to restore well-being and mental stability because it a much faster acting drug than others in its class.

Is there a downside?

It is precisely this quick acting characteristic of Xanax that makes it among the most misused drugs. Users who experience the rapid effects of Xanax are prone to becoming addicted to it. Sadly, these are often actual patients who just need relief of their symptoms and who were never interested in “getting a buzz” or enjoying recreational drugs. Before realizing it, they can find themselves inadvertently becoming drug offenders because they enjoy the effects of Xanax.

What makes matters worse is the higher tendency of these drug users to develop tolerance to the medication. This means the drug becomes increasingly less effective as they use it continually. Thus, the patient seeks stronger and more frequent doses to enjoy the effects. This is where the trouble begins.

Attending physicians might be reluctant to prescribe larger and more frequent doses of Xanax when they suspect their patients are beginning to develop an addiction to it or beginning to use it recreationally and not therapeutically. Doctors are, however, believed to be the biggest “pushers” of this drug as the authorized use of Xanax is unbelievably large.

Is there unauthorized use?

People who wish to use Xanax as a recreational drug cannot always get illicit prescriptions from unscrupulous doctors, so they need to source it on the street. Reports are published about young people using Xanax to “self-medicate” so they can deal with their self-diagnosed anxiety. Others reportedly just enjoy the “zombie-like” effects that large doses of Xanax can produce. A real danger is present when these daring users use Xanax alongside alcohol to trip on the synergistic effect this combination can elicit. Many of these people end up in hospital emergency rooms, while the less fortunate ones end up in morgues.

What is Xanax? With such unlawful use, it is also considered a “street drug” even if the criminal elements who distribute it isn’t really walking the streets but selling it on the Dark Web.  In classic “Breaking Bad” fashion, there is even an underground manufacture of Alprazolam by people who have access to the precursors or intermediate materials needed to make their own version of Xanax in their own laboratories.

What can be done?

The U.S. DEA classifies Xanax and the other Alprazolam equivalent products as Schedule IV substances which means they have potential for abuse and addiction or drug dependency. Therefore, Xanax should only be used under the supervision or behest of an attending physician. While law enforcers do what they can to stop the illicit trafficking of this drug, the other means of controlling its use is through drug testing.

Policemen cannot pull in random suspects for drug testing because this would defy their Constitutional rights. However, organizations that vet people for employment and other such engagements are permitted to impose a drug test on every applicant up for consideration. These companies find it necessary to have drug-free workplaces, not only to weed out drug offenders, but to make sure that people legally undergoing medication do not pose any danger to themselves, fellow workers, and the work itself due to the debilitating effects such drugs may have on their performance and health.

Do these tests work?

Testing for the presence of Xanax in a patient is done by running a legally-sanctioned test for Benzodiazepines. These are part of the highly-accurate all-in-one drug testing cups used by industry and government today. All that needs to be done is for the test subject to urinate in the multi-panel testing cup, and waiting for the results of the test to show on the specific panels that are sensitive to particular substances.

It is, of course, important to purchase these multi-panel testing cups from reputable suppliers such as Ovus Medical to ensure accuracy and compliance with State regulations.

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