Explained: Everything you need to know about the Xanax craze

All about the craze…

The drug craze ‘Xanax’ has hit the UK, with more people filing for private prescriptions for the drug than ever.

Although the Xanax craze is a pretty big deal in the US, if you’re from England you may be thinking what the hell is it?

Well, in simple terms, it is a drug used to treat anxiety disorders, but people have got into the habit of taking the drug recreationally to feel pretty zoned out.

Seems like a good idea, until you realise how dangerous and addictive the drug is.


What is Xanax?

Caroline Curtis, a nurse from Rainham said ”Xanax is a type of benzodiazepine, it is used to effect the brains serotonin levels and is used in cases of anxiety

and sleep disorders. It is targeted at people that have an in-balance of the serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters by lowering these levels, causing them to feel very distant

and relaxed. It is recommended to only be used as a last resort as it is very addictive and highly dangerous.”


Who has been affected?

Many celebrities have spoken out about their addiction to Xanax and how it got out of control before they could stop it.

The recent death of the rapper ‘Lil peep’ has been arguably the most high profile Xanax story in the media. Lil Peep passed away earlier this month of a suspected Xanax overdose.


As reported by TMZ, messages were discovered from a friend of Lil Peep who was with him at the time saying ‘”He passed the fuck out my brother called and I tried to get him to say hi to my brother but he wouldn’t wake up.”


Renowned music icon ‘Russ’ openly spoke out about Xanax on twitter…


Chance the rapper opened up about his experience with Xanax in an interview with GQ by saying“I was just fucking tweaking. I was a Xan-zombie, fucking not doing anything productive and just going

through relationship after relationship after relationship. Mind you, this is six months. So think about, like, how could you even do that?””.


How are people getting hold of it?

The drug isn’t available on NHS prescription in the UK, but people can still get their hands on the drug through private prescriptions. Carol continued ”In order to get the drug you

have to prove to your GP that you are suffering with severe anxiety and that you have tried other methods of treatment first, this is because the drug is a last resort treatment based on


it’s dangerous nature.”

However, it doesn’t seem that private prescriptions are the only way young people are getting their hands on the drug.

Maidstone council social worker, Sharon Graham said ”The problem is an issue amongst young people because the drug is so easily accessible, private prescriptions are one way

that young people are getting their hands on the drug yes, but many teenagers can get hold of it from the internet including places on the dark web.”


What are the effects?

Speaking to Caroline Young about the short-term effects, she said ‘The short-term effects of the drug are quite simple, you feel very relaxed and zoned out and at ease with the world. However long term abuse can

result in seizures, migraines, depression and overdose resulting in coma”.


Who has spoken out about it?

The drug charity Forward spoke out about the Xanax trend, saying ”Xanax is the brand name for a benzodiazepine tranquiliser that is not currently available for prescription on the NHS. Although it is available by private prescription, there is evidence to suggest that it

is being bought from other illicit sources such as the internet, primarily for recreational use. Taking medication that has not been prescribed especially for you can be extremely dangerous, especially if you do not know where it has come from.”



What advice is given?

Social worker Sharon Graham said” If people feel like they’re addicted to the drug they must speak out immediately to either family members or their local GP. Advice and help is always available, but it is so important

to talk out before it gets too late.”


Forward added ”The East Kent Community Drug and Alcohol Service is for anyone in East Kent who has issues with drugs and/or alcohol, whatever those issues might be. If you are worried that you or someone you know might have an issue with Xanax, or any other

drug, please get in contact by calling our 24 hour phone line on 0300 123 1186 or emailing eastkent@rapt.org.uk.”


EDP commented ”As a service we haven’t had any contact with students who are taking Xanax. It is a major concern for public health (and the Police) but at present hard to assess use and what the impact will be for UK citizens, communities and public purse. We

would encourage the students to come and get training from Reach and become ‘peer educators’ themselves as this will raise awareness and reduce the stigma for those who do develop more than a ‘recreational’ relationship with Xanax and other medications now

available on line. Anyone who is interested can contact us via info@edp.org.uk.’


Kent Police were unable to comment on the matter.