Advertisements
DrugsMental Healthsocial changeSocial NormsSocial Theory

What can explain the rise in popularity of Xanax in America’s youth drug culture?

Source: Pexels

 

Xanax makes you feel less anxious. Adolescents as a group are growing increasingly anxious. So it seems like a straightforward connection then that adolescent use of a drug to reduce anxiety is on the rise. As to the cause of the increase in adolescent anxiety, there are many factors I’m sure, but that seems like a thesis project I lack the expertise for.

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-9824/xanax-oral/details

http://time.com/magazine/us/4547305/november-7th-2016-vol-188-no-19-u-s/

Empty-Mind

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

A few reasons.

Xanax and other benzos haven’t received the public backlash or crackdown that opioids have. They remain relatively easy to get and are more associated with bored housewives than hardcore addicts.

Because they are so easy to get they are cheap. You can get a bar for like $5.

Mixing benzos with opioids and alcohol can heighten the effect of the opioid, making them a good option when you can’t get enough of your drug of choice. Benzo-use is highest among users of other drugs, and 30% of opioid overdoses involve some kind of benzo. They are also popular for users of uppers like molly or blow to come down after a night of partying.

There have been concerns about the “Xanax epidemic” since as early as 2000. But it is not surprising that it continues to grow as a) our society becomes ever more anxiety producing, b) opioids become harder to get, and c) general addictive behavior and drug use remain relatively high among millennials.

ragnarockette

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

The clearest indicator of this phenomenon with regard to Xanax is the very high rate of prescriptions for the drug. In 2013 there were 48 million prescriptions dispensed for alprazolam. up 1% from 2011.

Between 2009 and 2011 alprazolam prescriptions went up 9%

Between 2005 and 2009 prescriptions rose 29%

It is the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drug in the US and has been since at least 2005.

What we can see here is a picture of Xanax emerging onto the market in the late 80s and undergoing rapid growth to become a very widely prescribed drug and this growth has only leveled off within the last decade or so, and has not begun to decrease. People who are in the 18-35 age bracket have grown up with Xanax integrating itself into popular culture, now it has reached the point where it is ‘going mainstream’, possibly a form of network effect where a few isolated users of the drug has turned into a whole subculture. Rap music itself has become more mainstream in recent years and is reaching wider audiences (think about how many rappers are now headlining festivals etc, not as common 10 years ago), but also drug use is commonly discussed in other genres like country music which is easier to overlook.

Complex_System

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

https://www.citylab.com/life/2018/03/the-unhappy-states-of-america/555800/

America is becoming a more and more unhappy place. Large sections of the population are at a big risk of addiction due to poor mental health.

thehollowman84

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

The Sociological Mail

Advertisements

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: