Drug and Alcohol

Xanax Bars: The Many Types & Forms of Xanax Bars…and What They Mean

Xanax bars come in many shapes and colors. Do you know what they mean? Here's our guide to Xanax bars, colors, and their strengths.

Facts About Xanax Bars

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

June 14, 2023

The Forge Recovery Center

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a drug in the benzodiazepine class. It’s one of the most common prescription drugs. Xanax is given to people struggling with anxiety disorder and panic attacks. This prescription drug is a medication that helps reduce stress levels but is not a long-term solution or cure for anxiety.

It is usually prescribed for short periods as it has a high potential for abuse. 

Substance abuse of prescription medication like Xanax has become common among people. Xanax has become a popular drug of abuse due to its fast action. Unfortunately, Xanax abuse is incredibly risky. Overdosing on Xanax can be common, especially when it’s combined with other drugs like alcohol.

Worst of all, counterfeit Xanax bars containing fentanyl are resulting in more and more overdoses.

Xanax comes in many forms and strengths. Here’s a quick course on the various kinds of Xanax bars, legal and otherwise.

Stats About Xanax Abuse

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 1.5 million individuals in the age bracket of 18-25 misused prescription benzodiazepines in 2017. 

What Are Xanax Bars?

Xanax is a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means that although the drug is medically accepted to treat anxiety and panic disorders, it can become addictive. Xanax is a benzodiazepine that has a calming effect on the user by affecting the brain and central nervous system.

This is possible as the medication increases the GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) levels in the consumer's brain. 

Higher GABA levels in the brain mean lower stress levels, which is why Xanax bars help patients with anxiety feel calmer. As their stress lowers, so will their anxiety and frequency of panic attacks.

However, once a patient gets used to the calming effects of Xanax, it is really easy for them to develop a dependence on the pill, and typically, their threshold to the medication increases. With time, if this is not managed, it usually leads to abuse and addiction.

Xanax Bars: Why are they Called Bars?

Although other forms of Xanax exist, most Xanax pills are shaped like flat rectangular bars. They’re divided up into four quarters, allowing for greater control over the dosage.

What Do Xanax Colors Mean?

Various types of Xanax medication are prescribed to patients. Depending on their potency, they have different shapes, sizes, and colors.

Here’s a quick guide to the various kinds of Xanax bars/pills:

Blue Xanax Bar / Pill

Strength: 1mg of alprazolam for the blue oval; 2 mg of alprazolam for the blue round pill / blue Xanax bar

Blue Xanax

There are multiple varieties of blue Xanax. They have different stamps, too. Oval pills have “B706” stamped on them; others have “031R” stamped on them.

Green Xanax Bar

Strength: 2 to 3mg of Alprazolam

Green Xanax

Green Xanax – also called “Hulk Xanax” – are a common form of Xanax. These high-dosage pills are often provided in extended-release forms. While they’re relatively safe to use, many people who abuse Xanax grind these up and snort them. This means they get an immediately high dose of Xanax, risking a Xanax overdose.

There are further variations of green Xanax, however. Green oval Xanax comes in 1 mg strength.

Peach Xanax Bar / Pill

Strength: 0.5 mg of Alprazolam

Peach Xanax

This is a low-dose form of Xanax and usually comes in an oval-shaped pill. These are made by Pfizer.

Pink Xanax Bar / Pill

Strength: 3 mg of Alprazolam

Pink Xanax

Pink Xanax usually appears as a round or oval-shaped pill.

Purple Xanax Bar / Pill

Strength: 2 mg of Alprazolam

Purple Xanax

These Xanax pills are made by Pfizer. They usually come in 2 mg strength.

White Xanax Bar

Strength: 2 mg of Alprazolam

White Xanax

The most common type of Xanax is a white rectangular-shaped tablet with various indentations across its width, giving it the appearance of a ladder. When people think of a Xanax bar, this is likely what comes to mind. A Xanax bar has a strength of 2mg, meaning it contains 2 milligrams of alprazolam.

Yellow Xanax Bar / Pill

Strength: 1mg of Alprazolam

Yellow Xanax

These usually appear similar to white Xanax bars, only yellow. They’re often stamped with “039” and are called “yellow bus” pills.

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WARNING: Red Xanax Bars

Red Xanax

All red Xanax bars are fake. These are bright red pills stamped with “R666.” These pills can be purchased from dealers, on the dark web, or via other illegal means. Often contaminated with fentanyl, these Xanax bars should always be avoided.

Why Are Xanax Bars Abused?

Xanax bars increase volumes of GABA in the brain and reduce stress, offering calming effects. Xanax can also create feelings of euphoria, which is what attracts people to the drug.

However, it’s also possible to develop a dependence on Xanax unintentionally, especially through long-term use. Xanax withdrawal can be very unpleasant, so many people abuse Xanax to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

What are Street Names for Xanax?

Some slang and street names for Xanax bars are:

  • Zanzibar

  • Bars 

  • Xannies

  • Plankies

  • Planks

  • Xanbars

  • Bricks

  • Xans

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Side Effects of Xanax Bars

As Xanax bars work by calming the mind, they can leave the user sedated and feeling calm. This may cause someone taking the drug to feel tired and relaxed, also making it a medication often prescribed to individuals with insomnia.

Here are some of the milder side effects of Xanax bars:

  • Feeling confused

  • Experiencing tiredness and fatigue

  • Intense dreams

  • Feeling dizzy or faint 

  • Incoordination

  • Being irritable without reason 

  • Loss of appetite 

  • Loss of memory

  • Muscle spasms and pains

  • Feeling unexplained weakness 

  • Not being able to speak clearly

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Anxiety

More Serious Xanax Side Effects

Some of the serious side effects that can occur in more severe Xanax abuse cases are:

  • Fainting

  • Hallucinations 

  • Jaundice 

  • Seizures

  • Overdose

Signs of Xanax Abuse & Addiction 

If you have been taking Xanax bars for an extended period, in higher doses than prescribed, or without a prescription at all, there is a high possibility that you may have become addicted to the drug. This is when your brain and body depend on Xanax, and you cannot function normally without it.

In addition, as your tolerance to the drug increases, you need to consume higher doses to feel the same effect of the drug you felt with the first dose. 

How Can I Tell if I am Addicted to Xanax Bars?

Here are a few signs that you or a loved one may be addicted to the drug:

  • Taking higher doses of Xanax than prescribed

  • Taking Xanax longer than prescribed

  • Being unable to stop using Xanax despite trying

  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from Xanax

  • Continuing to use Xanax despite negative outcomes

  • Needing to take higher doses of Xanax to feel the same effects

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you’re not on Xanax

If you can identify any of these signs in yourself or in someone you are close to, it may be time for an intervention – consult your doctor to know what to do about it.

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Xanax Bars: Signs of Xanax Overdose

Xanax is a powerful drug. Taking large amounts of it – or mixing Xanax with alcohol, opioids, or other drugs – can fatally slow down breathing, which is how people die from Xanax overdoses.

Signs that indicate a Xanax overdose:

  • Slowed breathing

  • Unresponsiveness

  • Bluish skin and lips

  • Slurred speech

  • Unsteady walking

Sometimes, to feel the effects of Xanax bars at a higher intensity, people like to experiment and mix the drug with other drugs like opioids. As opioids are central nervous system depressants, combining the two can amplify the risks of overdose and even death manifold. 

Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal 

Long-term Xanax use, even if it’s prescribed, can cause a person to become physically dependent on it. This means a person’s body has become used to Xanax in the system. When Xanax isn’t taken, the body gets thrown out of balance as it tries to adapt to a lack of Xanax in the system. This is called withdrawal.

Withdrawal symptoms of Xanax include:

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Anxiety or panic attacks 

  • Tremors 

  • Muscle spasms, aches, and cramps 

  • Loss of appetite 

  • Hyperventilation

  • Sweating more than usual

  • Discomfort in general 

  • Experiencing hypersensitivity to sound, touch, or light

  • Feeling detached from your own body 

Severe Signs of Xanax Withdrawal

Some of the more severe symptoms include:

  • Suicidal thoughts and sometimes even actions

  • Psychosis 

  • Hallucinations 

  • Delirium 

  • Delusions

  • Seizures 

It is always a good idea to quit Xanax under the supervision of a professional healthcare provider or in an established rehab facility. This ensures you are in good care and can manage these symptoms with professional help from counselors, therapists, doctors, and experienced detox guides. 

How to Manage Xanax Withdrawal

If you are experiencing withdrawal after stopping Xanax consumption, these tips and tricks may help prevent relapse: 

Keep your friends and family close: Your friends and family are your support system. Keep the most trusted people in your life close to you so that they can help you when you need some motivation to stay on track. 

Try meditation: Practicing yoga or breathing exercises will help you compose yourself and think clearly. It may help you fight your urges and rationalize how far you have come. 

Stay on your feet: Make sure you get in at least 40-45 minutes of physical activity in your routine 3-4 days a week. This will help release feel-good hormones and help you channel your energy. 

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Safety Tips for Taking Xanax Bars

If you are taking Xanax bars, remember the following tips to prevent addiction.

Follow Your Prescription

Just as with any other medication, try your best to stick to the prescription given by the doctor. Take the drug in recommended doses only for as long as your healthcare provider suggests. If you miss a dose, do not try to compensate for it by taking an extra dose the next time, as missing an occasional dose is not harmful. An overdose, on the other hand, is.

Know Your Medication

Be sure of the specific type of Xanax bar you have been prescribed. Even before purchasing it, ensure you know the strength you should be taking. For example, is each tablet the exact potency you have been prescribed? Or do you need to break down the tablet to take a smaller dose?

These are a few things to take care of so you do not overdose – even by mistake. 

Never Buy Xanax Illegally

If you are purchasing your drug from an authorized pharmacy, you’re pretty safe from counterfeit Xanax. Do not try to obtain Xanax from the street or other illicit sources. If you feel like you have been given a fake, always ask a medical professional before you take it.

Stay Consistent

Don’t mix Xanax bar strengths. This puts you at risk of disturbing your dosage and schedule. If your pharmacy asks you to wait a few days, be patient to get Xanax in the right strength.

Weaning off Xanax Bars

If you are trying to taper off the drug after experiencing withdrawal, always do it with professional help. The withdrawal effects of Xanax can be very serious. This is extremely risky and can cause the worst health complications.

Xanax Bars: Why Seek Help for Xanax Abuse?

Overall, restoring your life and giving up a Xanax addiction can be challenging, whether you took the drug as recommended by a doctor or by abusing the drug. Staying motivated and preventing relapse requires a strategic approach, dedication, professional assistance, and patience. Most people require a healthcare provider to help them get through it and may even enroll in a drug rehab program.

These programs are extremely beneficial, flexible, and tailored to your requirements. Whether you opt for inpatient therapy or outpatient rehab, your rehab guide will help you get your life back on track. 

Want to Leave Xanax Bars Behind Permanently? Talk to The Forge Recovery Center

If you know someone who needs help or finds it challenging to get through each day with a substance use disorder or addiction, it may be time to get professional help. Abstaining from prescription drugs such as Xanax bars is the only way to manage it, as such addictions can quickly become life-threatening.

However, this is not as simple as it may appear. For example, managing Xanax withdrawal can be complicated and requires medical supervision.

The Forge Recovery Center provides expert, evidence-based help for Xanax abuse. Our program is guided by a trauma-informed philosophy. This allows us to address the causes of Xanax addiction at its emotional root. We help our clients safely explore what’s behind their Xanax abuse and develop healthy coping skills and other tools to leave Xanax behind for good.

Don’t risk a Xanax overdose! Reach out to The Forge Recovery Center today to learn more about our proven and effective Xanax addiction program.

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