(1mg bid) for over twenty years. It helped me a lot. About a year ago my dr. told me that he would no longer prescribe Xanax because it was so short lived in the system and was no better than a street drug. He prescribed Ativan(1mg 4 times daily. This drug doesn't help with the anxiety and I have a really hard time sleeping. What is the difference in the drugs and what should I do? I have talked to my dr. and he will not prescribe the Xanax.