Xanax, otherwise known by its generic medical name Alprazolam, falls under a class of drugs called Benzodiazepines. “Benzos” are generally prescribed as anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxants, and anticonvulsants to help people recover from certain types of muscle related injuries. Xanax and other Benzos like it are classified as “Schedule IV” drugs. This means they are recognized to have legitimate medical uses, have relatively “low” addictive properties compared to other drugs, but can only be legally used when prescribed by a doctor, and are thus unavailable for off-the-shelf purchase the way other products like cough syrup or low-grade painkillers like Tylenol or Advil are.
Because Xanax is an anti-anxiety drug, it is widely prescribed by doctors for the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks. It is also sometimes prescribed as a treatment for insomnia. While some doctors may feel comfortable about immediately prescribing Xanax for dealing with stress, others may refer a patient to a psychiatrist first, since psychiatrists specialize in dealing with psychoactive substances for dealing with emotional problems. It is usually through a prescription given by a doctor that most addiction will occur, requiring Xanax addiction treatment.