Xanax and other sedatives are a serious and dangerous addiction for teens. Many teens view Xanax as a safer and more plentiful alternative to Rx opioids and heroin. But addiction experts warn that they can be just as deadly as opioids, especially when taken in combination with other drugs or alcohol. And it’s much harder to kick the habit.
According to Sharon Levy, director of adolescent addiction treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital and lead author of the adolescent drug use study,
“Adolescent benzodiazepine use has skyrocketed; and more kids are being admitted to hospitals for benzo withdrawal because the seizures are so dangerous.”
Like any addictive substance Xanax when used early increases the risk of addiction later in life. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2016 report on drugs and alcohol
. . . nearly 70% of adolescents who try an illicit drug before 13 will develop addiction within 7 years, compared with 27% for those who first try an illicit drug after age 17.