The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that nearly 2.2 million adolescents (ages 12 to 17), or almost 9 percent of adolescents in the U.S., were currently misusing illicit drugs. Of these 2.2 million, about 500,000 adolescents — nearly one in every 50 across the country — were misusing prescription psychotherapeutic medications like Xanax, Valium, or other benzodiazepines. Our adolescent benzodiazepine (benzos) use treatment program.
Benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” are psychoactive drugs that have been used since the 1960s to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed, alongside Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium. With anxiety disorders currently ranking as the number one mental illness in the U.S., it’s no wonder that these drugs are becoming a common sight in medicine cabinets. One survey found that between 1996 and 2013, prescription rates for benzodiazepines jumped from 8.1 million to 13.5 million. This is a 67% increase, while dosages had increased by about 1.4 times. This combination of easy access and increasing prescription-strength makes benzodiazepines a prime target for use among young people.