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What sets Xanax apart from all the other miscellaneous drugs in the medicine cabinet, though, is its ability to make the user black out, the high chance of addiction and the fact that withdrawal from Xanax is potentially deadly.

“Xanax is so dangerous because it hits you so fast,” licensed clinical social worker Kirk Broaddus said.

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“Within 10 or 15 minutes you’re soaring into the euphoric high, or low for some. If you’re talking to them or observing them, they look drunk — they’re slurring words, their eyes are closed and their head is drooping. They just slow way down Sometimes, they’ll even fall asleep.

A lot of people are known to just fall over.” The drunken feeling associated with Xanax is unlike actual alcohol intoxication in that it wears off rapidly and impairs memory as well.

“Generally speaking, people who are using Xanax to get high are often times around alcohol, so they mix the two. Because they have added effects on each other, they slow down the central nervous system and respiratory system, which could possibly lead to death.” While attending high school, exposure to illegal substances, whether it’s marijuana or underage drinking, is almost bound to happen.

However, the severity of use of these illegal substances has seen a lot of growth in the past couple of years, according to nurse Holly Hubbell.

This over-prescribed drug is becoming a staple in parents’ medicine cabinets, making it much easier for teens to access.

Around school, however, it’s referred to as “bars,” “zanies” or “planks” and used to get a feeling similar to intoxication.

Students are experimenting with new and “fun” things to try and achieve the “best” high.

The danger comes into play when these students are unaware of the potential consequences.

These cases of denial not only hurt the addict, but also put a serious strain on their family dynamics.

“Everyone besides [my brother] knew he had a problem,” junior Megan Jones* said.

Once it’s reached a more intense level, the user begins to feel dizzy and usually common activities, like buttoning a shirt and saying their own name, become difficult tasks. “Maybe the most important thing of all is, if you take it every day for a couple of months, you become physically dependent on it and you have withdrawal if you suddenly stop it,” Broaddus said.

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