Non-medical Use of Anti-Anxiety Medication
Node Smith, ND
There is concern about the misuse of the sedative anti-anxiety medication alprazolam (Xanax®) because of the “high” it can create. A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study found that non-medical use of alprazolam in the United Kingdom is a significant issue, and it appears to be more prevalent in younger adults.
Non-medical use of alprazolam (Xanax®) in the United Kingdom is a significant issue
The study examined results from a survey that included 10,019 adults in the United Kingdom. The estimated national prevalence of lifetime non-medical use of alprazolam was 0.32%, and 1.30% for diazepam (valium), another anti-anxiety medication. The prevalence of non-medical use in the last 90 days was significantly different when split by age category for alprazolam, but not for diazepam, with alprazolam non-medical use being more common among younger adults.
Unsurprisingly, most individuals taking alprazolam for non-medical reasons doing so without a prescription
The authors noted that most individuals taking alprazolam for non-medical reasons are doing so without a prescription and therefore are unlikely to obtain medical advice before use.
“Further research is urgently needed to further explore the motivations for and appeal of alprazolam for non-medical use among young adults,” they wrote. “This will enable appropriate public health interventions to prevent short-term toxicity and long-term dependence among young adults who are regularly using alprazolam.”
- Hockenhull, J. et al. (2019) Non‐medical use of alprazolam in the United Kingdom: results from a nationally representative survey. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. doi.org/10.1111/bcp.13959.
Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Humboldt, Saskatchewan and associate editor and continuing education director for NDNR. His mission is serving relationships that support the process of transformation, and that ultimately lead to healthier people, businesses and communities. His primary therapeutic tools include counselling, homeopathy, diet and the use of cold water combined with exercise. Node considers health to be a reflection of the relationships a person or a business has with themselves, with God and with those around them. In order to cure disease and to heal, these relationships must be specifically considered. Node has worked intimately with many groups and organizations within the naturopathic profession, and helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic Revitalization (ANR), which works to promote and facilitate experiential education in vitalism.
Node Smith graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in 2017, and is currently licensed as a naturopathic physician in Oregon and working towards becoming licensed in Saskatchewan, Canada as well.