We trust our doctors to prescribe medications that will help us. We don’t often think about the possible consequences of filling a prescription. While therapeutic doses of a medicine may be helpful, many can be harmful, addictive, or even fatal if taken in excess or over an extended period of time.
In 1982, Xanax (alprazolam) was the first drug to be approved to treat panic disorder. Since 2010, it has been the most prescribed – and the most misused – benzodiazepine in the US. It works faster and is ten times stronger than Valium (diazepam). It is a schedule IV controlled substance which means that it has accepted medical use in the US, it has a low potential for abuse (compared to schedule I-III substances), and abuse may lead to low to moderate physical, or high psychological dependence.