The drug alprazolam is often called Xanax, after one of the most common brand names. We know that using alprazolam has caused some young people to end up in hospital, particularly when they have mixed it with alcohol.

Alprazolam is an anti-anxiety medicine in the benzodiazepine family and is similar to diazepam (Valium) but it’s about 20 times stronger and has a quicker, shorter-acting effect. If you take alprazolam you might very quickly feel relaxed, tired and sleepy.

But you are also at risk of serious harm if you take alprazolam. Like other benzos, long-term use could mean you become physically dependent on it and then suffer withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it. Alprazolam can also cause blackouts and put you at greater risk of being taken advantage of sexually. If you mix it with alcohol you’re at a big risk of overdose caused by heart and breathing problems – and this can lead to death.

If you or someone you know gets into trouble with alprazolam, you will need to act quickly. The Emergency Help page gives you advice about what to do if it’s an emergency. If it’s not an emergency but you or a friend need help, you should search FRANK to find support near you.