Alprazolam (Xanax): What are the facts? from Austria brave's blog

Over the last year there has been an increase in media coverage of alprazolam (typically known by it's term  buy Xanax online) and highlighting what's being viewed as an increase in amount of teenagers who are taking the drug. The majority of media coverage contain individual stories or accounts from treatment centers however there is no discussion of research findings or actual evidence.

Like all coverage that highlights possible changes in the trends in drugs there's a chance there is a chance that evidence for the change in trend doesn't get well provided or even accessible, and that highlighting the benefits of a particular drug may accidentally increase the interest of some users of the drug.

PHE has been studying the evidence available and this blog provides what we know now and what's currently being investigated and what needs to be planned for the future.

What is Alprazolam?

Alprazolam belongs to the family of benzodiazepine of medications. The most frequently prescribed benzodiazepines to treat insomnia and anxiety, but they can also be used to manage seizures caused by epilepsy.

The most often prescribed benzodiazepine prescription in the UK is diazepam, which is known under the trade name Valium. Contrary to this, alprazolam is a faster taking drug and is approximately 10 times stronger, which means it is able to quickly induce a feeling of sedation.

As with other benzodiazepines like alprazolam, it may cause issues when used with no medical guidance. In the short-term the misuse of alprazolam can lead to an over-sedation or collapsing state, as well as overdose. In the long run, it can cause physical dependence and withdrawal after stopping or reducing usage.

In addition the use of any benzodiazepine in conjunction in combination with alcohol or other drugs can increase the risk of harm. This is especially the case when benzodiazepines mix with other sedatives.

Alprazolam is not accessible through the NHS However, it is bought with a private prescription within the UK. Illicit alprazolam, usually sold in counterfeit Xanax tablets are available for purchase at street-level drug stores and can also be purchased purchase on illegal websites as well as social media apps.

What are the current discussions concerning Alprazolam (Xanax)?

There's been a rising number of personal stories that have been reported by the press, mostly concerning youngsters who are suffering from Alprazolam (Xanax), as also anecdotal evidence that they have self-medicated to treat anxiety-related issues.

There were also discussions regarding alprazolam among political circles. In January of this year one of the lawmakers Bambos Charalambous led the first discussion within the House of Commons to discuss the use of alprazolam.

Sometimes the use of alcohol (cheap xanax) is depicted through the media to be a massive problem among teenagers. There is no evidence to date for this, however as we'll explain down, there's some evidence to suggest that the rate of use is rising. It is crucial to recognize that the patterns of drug usage change with time. Certain substances are able to be discovered rapidly, however, their use rapidly decreases. Other drugs remain and cause long-lasting harm. It's still too early to determine what category alprazolam falls into.

What are we aware of about the use of alprazolam?

In the wake of the coverage in the media of alprazolam is continuing, PHE is being asked to make a statement, especially on the current trends. There are some indications to suggest that the use of alprazolam is on the rise in particular among teenagers or young adults. However, the information that we have do not offer an exact picture of extent of alprazolam use, because certain of these numbers cover all benzodiazepines, but do not cover alprazolam specifically, which makes it difficult to discern variations in usage.

The preliminary hospital admissions data for England for 2017 show that there is an increased number of patients less than 20 years old who were admitted to hospitals with poisoning from benzodiazepine. In the same time requests made to the National Poisons Information Service regarding the treatment for alprazolam poisoning has increased significantly. PHE has looked into UK police seizures records for drugs that were sent for analysis by forensic experts. The results indicated that the amount of seizures involving alprazolam was significantly more than the past, ranging from fewer than 10 seizures during 2016 up to more than 800 in 2017.

A lot of Xanax tablets that are sold on illicit marketplaces aren't quality pharmaceutical and are actually counterfeit. This is of great problem because counterfeits might contain different levels of alprazolam. This makes it difficult for those taking drugs to determine how much they should take. Counterfeit Xanax has also been proven to be a mixture of other drugs and/or potentially hazardous adulterants.

We have received information through TICTAC an analysis of drugs lab which has confirmed that the samples that were made to look like authentic Xanax tablets in fact contained different drugs , such as etizolam which is a different benzodiazepine that has been linked to numerous death cases across Scotland. TICTAC also confirmed that fake tablets that contained alprazolam differed in the strength of the tablets, with some with greater than the typical dosage of a genuine Xanax tablet.

The uncertainty of dosage could be extremely dangerous for addicts who won't be able to determine the amount of alprazolam (or other substituted drugs) tablets contain until after they've consumed it and experienced adverse consequences.

What is happening and what can be taken care of?

What is PHE doing

At PHE We've been looking over all data from the national level and other data to gain a better understanding of alprazolam usage in England. We're also in contact with experts and others to create more of a picture.

Locally based PHE Centre teams are working closely with local authorities to provide them with guidance, data and other support bespoke to assist them to assess the local need for treatment, and then commission services to fulfill those needs. This could include support for people who are using alprazolam dependent on the severity of the issue within their region.

We are currently piloting the Report Illicit Drug Reactions (RIDR) the online system to report the harmful effects caused by illicit substances specifically, especially New psychoactive substances (NPS). The system also identifies dangers caused by the misuse of medications including alprazolam.

If new types of drugs or ways of use are discovered and are associated with health issues, the specific consequences that they bring may not always be well comprehended initially. For instance, bladder issues that are caused by ketamine weren't first recognized until various treatment facilities began to connect the dots and identify connections with the bladder problems. RIDR is designed to speed up the detection of harmful conditions, so that treatment and health services can swiftly provide the most effective interventions. PHE recommends that frontline personnel make use of RIDR to report the clinical problems they observe within their own local area. This will help build an understanding of new issues and their geographic distribution.

PHE organizes an annual clinical network meeting featuring experts on the latest drugs and trends in the field of drugs and trends. This gives us the chance to discuss the latest data from RIDR as well as the most current research on NPS, as well as other sources. Following every session, PHE updates our RIDR Dashboard to record recent issues and issues. Alprazolam is featured as a dashboard item since the beginning of September of 2017.

We also provide updates to FRANK to include pertinent updated information. This includes a section on alprazolam.

Which local governments and providers should do?

Certain treatment facilities respond to this new trend by educating their staff, creating materials for youth and educating them about the issue locally, and offering support, advice and assistance to children who are struggling.

Drug Watch, an information network, has put together an overview of the use of alprazolam for professionals as well as people in the public.

Local authorities should try to discover their personal patterns of using drugs Be aware of new trends, and ensure that the staff who work in the areas of services that interact for vulnerable people, including the pupil referral unit and children's social careare aware and are able to assist in the development of appropriate strategies.

It is crucial for any local messages to young and professional people are appropriate to increase awareness and understanding without increasing interest or the desire for drugs.

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By Austria brave
Added Sep 18 '21



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