SHELBY COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Abusing Xanax and other anxiety medicines is a big issue among teenagers, and Compact 2020 is warning parents.
"The issue with Xanax is it is sometimes known as the hidden epidemic," Rachel Lawley with Bradford Health Services said.
Compact 2020 was created in Shelby County to build coalition of groups to help parents and their children understand the dangers of drug addiction. Bradford Health Services said teenagers are getting their hands on Xanax and other sedatives. This, in turn, is leading to overdoes.
"Parents are not locking up their medicine cabinets. They are getting them from friends that type of thing. Its really accessible," Lawley said.
Lawley said some teenagers use Xanax to get high, but others use it combat anxiety, which is part is due to increased use of social media.
"Now they are constantly on stage. They are constantly seeing what everyone else is doing and its a competition to see who will have the next post. Who can do the next best thing and that raises their anxiety level," Ashley Crumpton, deputy director of Compact 2020, said.
Compact 2020 is advising parents to be diligent in checking out their children's use of social media and to put restrictions on smart phones. Crumpton also suggests children knowing coping skills to help.
"They need to learn to de-stress after a long day at school without using a substance. Sometimes counseling is the way to do that," Crumpton said.