Xanax is a prescribed drug used for treating anxiety, depression, and panic disorders, which is under the benzodiazepine class. Generally, it is a downer or calmer since it neutralizes the intense feeling associated with anxiety and panic attacks.
Xanax is a brand name along with Niravam, and their generic name counterpart is Alprazolam. Likewise, it is a controlled substance that is classified under Schedule IV controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the United States.
In the next sections, it will be further discussed as to what circumstances will it be illegal to have this prescribed drug. Go on reading to find out more.
What Are Schedule IV Controlled Substances?
These are controlled drugs that have a low risk of being abused, and their side effects are not that life-threatening. When a person abuses or misuses these substances, they will develop a sense of dependence and addiction over time. Likewise, it is associated with withdrawal symptoms when that individual suddenly stops taking the drug.
Besides that, Schedule IV substances have proven medical benefits but need to be controlled to avoid dependence. Some other drugs under this category are Talwin, Darvon, Valium, Equanil, and Xanax.
Under What Grounds Is Xanax Illegal
Acquiring this prescribed drug is never illegal when you have a prescription and when you are only buying the necessary amount stated in your prescription. However, here are some details or instances when Xanax becomes illegal.
- Getting this drug without a prescription is illegal
- When a doctor or a patient fabricates a fake prescription just to acquire this drug is illegal
- When a patient sells or gives this drug to anyone it is illegal
- Driving when under the influence of Xanax is also illegal
- Purchasing more than what is prescribed is illegal
- Acquiring this drug from an unlicensed pharmacist or on the street is illegal
Take note, the corresponding sanctions for illegally acquiring this prescribed drug will vary in different states. To avoid any financial and legal obligations, it is best to abide by the law and your prescription from your doctor.
Crimes and Penalties Associated with Xanax
This prescribed medicine takes the form of a tablet, pill, or liquid with a concentration ranging from 0.25 mg to 2 mg. A person will be facing legal charges when he has illegally acquired the substance.
Consequently, when an individual illicitly possesses this controlled substance, he or she will be facing a misdemeanor or felony charge. So what’s the difference?
- Misdemeanor applies when a person illicitly possesses this controlled substance in very small amounts.
- In contrast, the person is charged with a felony when he illegally acquires large quantities of this controlled substance. Likewise, a felony charge usually has an imprisonment penalty of 10 years (maximum) inside a state prison cell.
When an individual is a first-time felony offender for illegal distribution of Xanax, he will be paying a fine between $250,000 to $1 million coupled with five-year imprisonment. Meanwhile, if that person commits the same crime, he will be charged higher by the Federal government – a fine between $500,000 to $2 million and 10-year imprisonment.
Legal – Acquiring Xanax Through A Prescription Bottle
Getting a prescription from a doctor is the only legal way of possessing this controlled substance. Oftentimes, you get a prescription bottle from your doctor where it has a label stating the following pieces of information:
- Name of the doctor
- Information on the pharmacy
- Name of the prescribed drug(s)
- Dosage and instruction
- Amount of the prescription
- The expiration date of the medication or prescription
It is a must that the prescribed medicine is placed inside this bottle and it abides with the details on the container’s label. When a patient acquires this controlled substance outside the bottle, it becomes illegal and punishable by law.
How Long Does It Stay Inside The System?
The typical half-life of this prescribed medicine is around twelve hours from the time it was taken by the individual. When a person is caught illegally possessing this controlled substance, he will undertake a drug test.
Consequently, testing for the presence of Xanax can be done through urine, blood, hair follicle, and saliva. The residues of this drug stay inside the human body for around four days since the last time the person has taken it.
Here are some estimates on how long does this substance is present or detectable for the different drug tests:
- Urine test: 5-7 days
- Saliva test: 2-5 days
- Blood test: 1-6 days
- Hair follicle test: 90 days
What Are Some Side Effects of Xanax?
Besides its medical benefits, using this prescribed drug is associated with the following side effects:
- Skin allergies
- Depressed appetite
- Lower sex drive
- Short-term memory loss
- Trouble sleeping
- Slurred speech
- Slightly irritable
- Sudden mood swings
Risk Factors To Watch Out For When Using Xanax
When medicating with this prescribed drug, it is highly prohibited that you take it along with other substances unless known by your doctor. It is strictly emphasized that you must never take this drug along with alcohol because it can lead to serious respiratory failure, coma, or death.
Meanwhile, here is a list of the substances you need to avoid while taking this prescribed medicine:
- Illicit substances like cocaine and heroin
- Other prescription drugs which are not permitted by your doctor
Also, this controlled drug is never advised for pregnant women.
Serious Side Effects for Prolonged Overdose With Xanax
Despite being classified as a low risk for abuse controlled substance, a continued overdose of this prescribed drug leads to the following serious ill effects:
- Being edgy or impulsive
- Hallucinations and confusions
- Higher risk for dementia
- Severe depression
- Brain damages
Seek Medical Help As Early As Today
The danger of not knowing you are already gaining dependence or an addiction elevates the risk of this prescribed medicine. With that, it is always best to seek professional help from a doctor or physician about your condition.
Do not hesitate to talk to your loved ones to gain emotional support before undertaking any rehab recovery treatment program. Get in touch with an addiction specialist so you can solicit professional advice and a customized treatment plan.