Alprazolam, better known by the brand name Xanax, is a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety disorders. Despite the drug's record of abuse and addiction, the DEA has awarded it a low classification under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).

Xanax controlled substance status

Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed and recognized anti-anxiety benzodiazepine medications in America with over 17 million prescriptions being given in 2019 alone.[1] The Drug Enforcement Administration has classified Xanax as a Schedule IV substance under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).

This means the DEA has deemed Xanax to have a medical purpose and a low risk of abuse, dependence, and addiction.

As a Schedule IV controlled substance, prescriptions for Xanax are only valid for six months and refilled prescriptions can only be completed five times within this period.[2]

Click here to learn more about the Controlled Substance Act.

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Implications

While drugs classified as Schedule IV are largely low risk for dependence and addiction, they still pose the potential to be abused. Xanax causes intense feelings of calm and euphoria when abused in high doses, and when used with other substances such as alcohol and other benzodiazepines. 

While many see Xanax as safe, many people become dependent on the substance and can end up abusing prescriptions and acquiring the drug through illegal means when their prescription ends. 

Buying fake Xanax can be extremely dangerous as the substances mixed or “cut” with alprazolam during manufacturing can cause an accidental overdose as well as other life-threatening side effects. Read here to learn more about the risks of fake Xanax.

Xanax addiction

Abusing prescription medication like Xanax can greatly increase the likelihood of developing an addiction. If you or someone you care about is at risk of becoming addicted to Xanax, or if a drug dependence has already formed, then contact an addiction rehab center today.