Questions about Xanax and its effects - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Questions about Xanax and its effects

 1.              Many people take Xanax prescribed by a doctor. How do troopers determine whether drivers are impaired if they are taking a prescription?  Xanax is classified as a Central Nervous System Depressant just like alcohol. Someone impaired on Xanax will display the same symptoms that someone impaired on alcohol would display except they will not have an odor of the beverage on their breath.

2.              There are breathalyzers for alcohol. How do you test for prescription drugs? The Drug Recognition expert (DRE) and Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) teaches officers what to look for and how to determine if someone is impaired. A DRE will be able to tell what classification of drugs that someone is on but not a specific drug. For example, a DRE would refer to the term CNS Depressants for someone under the influence of XANAX.

3.              How does Xanax affect driving ability? Xanax is a CNS Depressant and effects the ability to drive just like any other depressant. Each individual is different, some people will show  signs of impairment at prescribed  doses while others may not show impairment until a higher dose is taken.

4.              When did prescription drugs start showing up as a cause of impaired driving? Impaired driving from prescription drugs is not a  new problem it has been around for years. However, in recent years Law Enforcement has been better trained to detect people under the influence of drugs.

5.              Have prescription drugs become more or less prevalent as a cause of impaired driving over the last 10 years? Alabama is currently ranked #1 in prescribed drugs, over the last 10 years the problem has become greater and will continue to rise.

6.              For people who use Xanax as prescribed by a doctor, what should they know about driving after taking the drug? Someone taking prescribed dose by a physician can be impaired and therefore  arrested for DUI if they are showing signs of impairment. Most prescription drugs will have a warning label on the side that tells people not to operate heavy machinery.

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