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How important is xanax

How important is xanax. Is Xanax (Alprazolam) Right for You?

Anti-anxiety drugs can put a lid on sudden, overwhelming bouts of panic, fear, and anxiety. But worries over benzodiazepines use are growing. Do you have an anxiety disorder? Is Xanax the answer?

Article by:

  • Nancy Josephson Liff

America is one seriously anxious nation.

We Americans worry a lot—about our health, our safety, our personal finances, and our social media profiles. And the list goes on. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), a whopping 40 million adult Americans over age 18 suffer from anxiety disorders. That’s about 18% of the population.

American kids are also anxious. About a quarter of all teens ages 13-18 struggle with anxiety disorders. Untreated, anxiety can negatively impact a kid’s performance at school, relationships with peers, and can put a child at risk for depression, low self-esteem, and drug and alcohol problems later.

Of course, as any expert will tell you, a little anxiety can be motivating. It’s what gets you to work on time, drives you to study for a big exam, and helps you avoid reckless behavior—like wandering alone through a park at night.

“Some anxiety is actually good for us,” says Michael D. McGee, MD, chief medical officer at The Haven at Pismo, an addiction treatment center in Grover Beach, California. He is also the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Joy of Recovery: The New 12-Step Guide to Recovery from Addiction, and a member of the Psycom Editorial Advisory Board. But as you’ve probably learned from experience, things that are good for you can also spell trouble—especially if you have too much of a good thing.

So, here’s a brief rundown of stuff that amps us up, according to an American Psychiatric Association study:

  • Last year, anxious Americans worried about health, safety, finances, relationships, and politics, but the biggest concern was money.
  • Almost three-quarters of women, nearly three-quarters of young adults ages 18–34, and about four in five Hispanic adults said they were somewhat or extremely anxious about their ability to pay bills.
  • Women were more anxious than men and they had a greater increase in anxiety than men over a one-year period. Fifty-seven percent of women ages 18-49 reported being anxious, compared with 38% of same-age men.

The American Psychological Association (APA) named a slightly different set of anxiety-provokers—particular to people ages 15 to 21 (also known as Generation Z)—in its recent report on stress in America. Topping the list:

  • Immigration and sexual assault are huge worries. Mass shootings are a big stressor for that group, too.
  • Gen Z’ers are more stressed about the separation and deportation of immigrant and migrant families, compared with other Americans (57 % of Gen Z members vs. 45% of all adults).
  • More than 9 in 10 Americans in the Gen Z generation said they experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom due to stress—such as feeling sad or depressed (58%) or lacking interest, motivation or energy (55%).
  • Only half of all Gen Z men and women feel like they do enough to manage their stress. (To combat the problem, the American Psychological Association urges self-care: exercise, taking time to unwind, making smart food choices, and spending time with family and friends.)

The Rise of Xanax Nation

With all this worry about our worries, it is somewhat surprising that a significant number of nervous Nellies ignore expert advice and turn instead to one of the nation’s best-selling anxiety-blasters: Xanax. A study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine1 suggests that US doctors write an estimated 48 million prescriptions for Xanax each year, making Xanax one of the most-prescribed benzodiazepines in the nation.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for the generic drug alprazolam. It belongs to a family of drugs called benzodiazepines—a type of tranquilizer that makes the brain less sensitive to stimulation, which has a calming effect. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax are commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and panic. They also are used to reduce jitters before surgery.2  Drugs that are similar to Xanax include Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and Ativan (lorazepam). All work by slowing the nervous system to induce mental and physical relaxation. They also work fast, with some kicking in, in as little as 15 minutes. The calming effect they produce can last six-to-twelve hours, Dr. McGee, a winner of a Living Now Evergreen Medal for Health and Wellness and of a 2018 Readers’ Favorite medal, says.

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