Is Xanax a Narcotic?
No, Xanax is not a narcotic. It belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines (benzos) and is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and depression. Xanax works by calming the central nervous system and reducing overexcitement in the brain.
Xanax contains the active ingredient alprazolam, which is a Schedule IV controlled substance. While it is less likely to be abused than a Schedule III drug, it still has the potential for abuse and can become addictive.
Dangers of Mixing Xanax with Opioids
It is possible for Xanax to be prescribed alongside opioids, but this can be harmful. Opioids are typically prescribed to relieve pain, and when taken with benzodiazepines like Xanax, the risk of overdose increases significantly. A 2016 study found that overdose death rates among patients taking opioids and benzos together were 10 times higher than those only taking opioids.
Black Box Warnings
To address the dangers of mixing these drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began requiring “black box” warnings on the labels of benzodiazepines and opioids in 2020. These warnings highlight the risks of using these drugs together. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that doctors avoid prescribing Xanax and other benzodiazepines with opioid pain medication.