Xanax Nation

Millions of us are popping addictive anti-anxiety pills.

Xanax Nation

Millions of us are popping addictive anti-anxiety pills.

-Jane Farrell

Woman taking a pill

Use of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax has skyrocketed since 2006, with a shocking 44 million Americans getting prescriptions for it, according to a new survey. The drug is addictive and meant for short-term use only.

The survey, conducted by IMS, a marketing company for health-care products, found that Xanax use in the United States had gone up 29 percent in the last four years. To put that rise in perspective, the researchers noted that the population of the United States increased only 4 percent in those years.

Of the top ten most commonly prescribed psychiatric medicines, nine were for anti-anxiety and seven were for depression. Some medicines treat both disorders.

Read How to Help a Friend Who’s Depressed

Here, the top ten, with their pharmaceutical names and the conditions they treat.

1. Xanax (alprazolam), anxiety
2. Lexapro (escitalalopram), depression, anxiety
3. Ativan (lorazepam), anxiety, panic disorder
4. Zoloft (sertraline), depression, anxiety, OCD, post-traumatic stress syndrome, the menstrual disorder PMDD
5. Prozac (fluoxetine), depression, anxiety
6. Desyrel (trazodone), depression, anxiety
7. Cymbalta (duloxetine), depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy
8. Seroquel (quetiapine), bipolar disorder, depression
9. Effexor XR (venlafaxine), depression, anxiety, panic disorder
10. Valium (diazepam), anxiety and panic disorder (Newser)

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