New statistics released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are shedding light on Xanax abuse in the state.
Xanax, also known by its scientific name, Alprazolam is prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. But last year, GBI records showed it as the leading cause of overdose in Georgia, with 231 deaths in 2011.
Pharmacist David Graves at Graves Pharmacy in Macon says that his office has seen a lot of suspicious activity conerning the drug. He says some patients will come in to refill a prescription days to weeks before its due, and others will use cash instead of insurance to hide the fact they may be buying from multiple pharmacies.
The statistics also showed that oxycodone and methadone were the second and third leading causes of overdose deaths, and that Benadryl actually cause 55 deaths last year.
91 percent of the deaths were accidental, and 91 percent of the overdoses were among whites. They were also mostly, middle aged, with a majority of victims between the ages of 35 and 54.
Graves says people need to watch out for drugs like Xanax which are viewed as "safer" because they can be a slippery slope to addiction. "If one is good, two is better. And that's the mentality we have here. And unfortunately in our society, we want a pill to cure a lot of our issues."