What is Xanax?
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a type of drug that falls under the category of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines affect the central nervous system and have a calming effect. A doctor may prescribe Xanax for anxiety and panic disorders.
While Xanax is a sedative, it’s not an opioid. In fact, taking Xanax with opioids could cause dangerous side effects, including trouble breathing, coma, or death. If you’ve been prescribed Xanax, it’s important to follow your doctor’s prescription carefully and to read all the labels included.
Street names for Xanax include Xannies (Zannies), Z-bars or bars, and bricks. A doctor or healthcare professional will never refer to Xanax by these names.
You should also be aware of fake Xanax, which is a popular business. To avoid buying and consuming counterfeit drugs, follow these tips:
- Use caution when buying pills online.
- Only buy medicines from state licensed approved pharmacies.
- Ensure the pharmacy requires a prescription.
- Never buy drugs from a friend, family member, or someone “off the street”, even if the drugs are cheaper.
What is an opioid?
Opioids naturally derive from the opium poppy plant. Some opioids, such as fentanyl, are created in a lab using a synthetic opioid. Both naturally derived and lab-created opioids work by blocking pain signals in the brain.
- OxyContin (street name oxy)
- Vicodin (street name vike)
- Fentanyl (street names include China White and Apache)
- Heroin, an illegal drug
Opioids are often prescribed to relieve pain after surgery or an injury. They’re also given to people undergoing cancer treatment to help alleviate painful side effects. It’s important to know that opioids are not considered over-the-counter painkillers, such as Tylenol or Advil. Opioids always require a prescription.
Along with relieving pain, opioids also produce a high feeling or calming effect, which is why many people abuse and overuse them. This abuse had led to the current opioid crisis.
Taking Xanax and opioid prescriptions safely
When taken correctly, prescription drugs can be a safe and effective treatment for many conditions. Benzodiazepines and opioids become dangerous when people misuse or abuse them.
Prescription drug abuse is defined as not taking the drug according to the doctor’s order. Some examples of prescription misuse and abuse include:
- taking too many pills
- taking opioids with alcohol, or combining your prescription with other drugs
- sharing your prescription with others
- selling your prescription
- snorting or injecting pills
- seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor, also called doctor shopping
- requesting refills to accumulate pills
All of these examples are signs of drug abuse and should be taken seriously. If you or someone you know misuses or abuses their prescription, get help right away. Drug abuse is a major cause of injury and even death in many Americans.
Skyward Treatment Center provides compassionate care for prescription drug addiction in Houston and surrounding areas. Our dedicated addiction treatment team is here 24/7 to help you become drug-free. Call 713-815-4471 or complete our online form to get started.