Xanax is a commonly abused drug among the teenage population. The prescription drug continues to be prevalent among teens, and it’s important that you talk to your teen about the dangers of Xanax abuse. When you openly discuss the risks, side effects, and possibility of overdose with your teen, you educate them on how to stay safe.
How Common Is Xanax Abuse?
Xanax is a popular benzodiazepine, also known as alprazolam. Due to it being a widely prescribed medication for anxiety, Xanax has become increasingly easier for teens to access. In fact, 45 million prescriptions were made for alprazolam in 2017 alone, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Whether it be from a parent’s medicine cabinet or a friend with a legal prescription, young people can easily attain the drug compared to illegal substances.
The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that young adults and adolescents are more likely to misuse alprazolam in comparison to other age groups. Xanax abuse is defined as using the drug for non-medical purposes or simply for a high. Meanwhile, the Journal of Addiction Medicine reported that Xanax was the second most common prescription drug involved in emergency room visits, proving how dangerous the prescription drug can be when abused.
With a large number of adolescents abusing Xanax, it’s crucial to remind your teen that peer pressure is likely to occur and how to overcome it. Building their self-confidence can help them be better at standing up for themselves and their beliefs. Additionally, knowing when to simply walk away from a situation can help your teen avoid being pressured into drug use. When you prepare them for possible conflicts, they can better handle them and be able to say “no.”
Discuss the Dangers of Xanax
When starting the conversation about Xanax abuse with your teen, you should emphasize the dangers involved. Since Xanax is rapidly absorbed into the body’s system, its effects are felt more quickly compared to other prescription drugs. However, the drug’s short high can swiftly lead to life-altering addiction and unpleasant withdrawals.
Xanax’s addictive quality can be seen in the large amounts of people needing rehabilitation treatment. In 2012, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) revealed that 17,019 people were admitted to rehabilitation facilities due to benzodiazepine abuse. It only takes weeks of continued use for someone to become addicted to the drug.
You should also describe the warning signs of Xanax overdose or hazardous reactions. Some signs your teen should be aware of include the following:
- Slowed or difficulty breathing
- Slowed heart rate
Remind your teen that if they or someone they know experiences these symptoms, they must call 911 immediately and receive medical attention. A Xanax overdose can lead to death. While you don’t want to imagine your child even abusing the drug, they should be educated about what to do in case of an emergency.
Is Your Teen Already Abusing Xanax?
If you discover your teen has been abusing Xanax despite your rules and warnings, you need to understand why. Anger may be your first reaction after learning about your teen’s drug abuse, but lashing out will only worsen the issue. Instead, openly speak with them about why they feel the need to use Xanax.
Are they struggling with their mental health? Do they have any personal problems they haven’t shared with you? By discovering the root of the issue, you can better help them overcome it.
If you’re unsure whether your teen may be abusing Xanax or not, there are a few signs to look out for. Watch for:
- Slurred speech
- Unstable motor skills
- Memory issues
- Mood changes
- Increased drowsiness
When questioning your child, come to them without hostility but with concern for their safety. Remind them that you’re not trying to punish them if they are using drugs but instead trying to keep them safe. You should always give them the freedom to talk about their issues. Ask them questions and listen intently rather than lecturing them.
Talking to your teen about substance abuse can be a delicate conversation. However, coming to them with concern and honesty can lead to a more fulfilling discussion.
Treatment for Teen Addiction
If you discover that your teen is struggling with Xanax addiction, it’s critical to find treatment for them. Adolescent addiction, left untreated, can harm their mind, body, and future. Treatment should be found as soon as possible to keep them safe and allow them to realize the importance of living a drug-free life.
At Avalon Malibu, we use compassionate, holistic rehabilitation to get to the root of the issue. Therapeutic treatment is key to discovering why your teen feels the need to abuse Xanax and resolving those problems. Avalon Malibu offers individual and group therapy, so your teen can safely discuss their feelings in an accepting environment. While you want to help solve your child’s addiction, professional treatment is vital for their recovery.
Your teen’s safety is essential, and we want to make sure that they receive the best addiction treatment possible for a bright future. The possibility of harmful side effects from using non-prescribed medications is a heartbreaking reality. If your teen is struggling with an addiction to Xanax, recovery is closer than you think. Avalon Malibu is an addiction and mental health treatment center in Malibu, California, that will prioritize their recovery. Our clinical team understands how prescription drug addiction affects your teen and will work closely to ease them into healing. We aim to handle all issues our clients struggle with, so treatment can be effective and longstanding. Call to learn more about our Xanax treatment at (844) 857-5992.