The levels of stress, anxiety and depression, for individuals living in the world today, are considerably higher than levels experienced by members of previous generations. Anxiety, a completely normal human emotion, is regularly experienced by everyone on some scale. However, some people experience much higher levels of anxiety than others—which can have dramatic, negative effects on their quality of life. High levels of anxiety can lead to individuals experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, in some cases. Chemically treating individuals with unusually high levels of anxiety has become quite common.

Chemical treatment for patients dealing with an uncomfortable amount of anxiety is done through the use of prescription medications. One of the most common types of these medications, used for the treatment of anxiety related disorders, is called “Xanax.” The pharmaceutical name of Xanax is “Alprazolam.” Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine, and is closely related to diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan). Alprazolam was first approved by the FDA in 1981. Xanax was originally approved for the effective treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

There have been uncountable advancements in science and psychiatric knowledge since 1981. So, consequently, Xanax has been identified as a very effective treatment method for many anxiety related disorders, including: GAD, agoraphobia, anxiety associated with depression, panic attacks and anxiety related insomnia. Xanax is an effective treatment for all of these disorders because it fundamentally acts as a central nervous system depressant. However, the exact mechanism affected by Xanax, in the brain, is still unknown. It is generally accepted by the scientific community that Xanax works by effectively enhancing the effects of the human body’s nervous system’s primary neurotransmitter GABA.

Xanax is an extremely effective treatment for anxiety related disorders. The onsets of alprazolam’s effects, when taken orally, are relatively fast—usually taking somewhere between twenty and forty minutes. This is what has made Xanax one of the most popular and frequently prescribed drugs in the United States. However, it is also a drug with very powerful addictive qualities. Regularly taking Xanax is very likely to cause some form of physical and psychological addiction.

Xanax is so widely prescribed because it is the best medication available to treat patients experiencing moderate to mild anxiety related symptoms, such as anxiety attacks and panic attacks. Xanax is extremely addictive, even for people who have been legally prescribed the drug from a doctor. Xanax is most commonly habit-forming when it is being used on a daily basis. If patients develop a physical addiction to Xanax, then suddenly stopping their daily use of the drug can be very dangerous. Patients, who suddenly stop taking Xanax— instead of gradually stopping by reducing their doses slowly—have been known to experience seizures, tremors, coma and sometimes even death.