What Are Xanax (Alprazolam) Bars?

  • Written by:

    Bedrock Recovery Center

  • Dr. Johnelle Smith
    Medically reviewed by:

    Johnelle Smith, M.D

What Are Xanax Bars?

Xanax bars are rectangular tablets that contain alprazolam, the active ingredient in Xanax. That’s a prescription medication that comes in pill form, liquid form, and tablet form.

“Bars” is one of several street names commonly used to refer to the anti-anxiety medication, Xanax, along with “planks” and “zanies”.

Calling Xanax by its street name is common among those who misuse Xanax for its effects and those who are addicted.

What Do Xanax Bars Do?

Xanax, the brand name for alprazolam, is a central nervous system depressant that can help relieve panic attacks, and treat the fear and unease associated with anxiety disorders.

It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines or “benzos”. These drugs can be habit-forming and cause dependence when taken for more than a few weeks.

What Are The Side Effects Of Xanax Bars?

Xanax bars can have a calming effect. This is because Xanax decreases excitement in the brain, which can calm both the body and the mind.

But Xanax can also have side effects, especially if it’s taken in ways other than as prescribed by a doctor for an anxiety or panic disorder.

Side effects of Xanax bars may include:

  • irritability
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • mood swings
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • changes in sex drive or ability

Serious side effects, including shortness of breath, seizures, and confusion can also occur, and may require emergency medical attention.

What Are The Risks And Dangers Of Xanax Bars?

Taking Xanax bars in ways other than as prescribed by a doctor — for instance, taking higher doses, taking someone else’s pills, or snorting Xanax — can be risky.

Here are some risks and dangers associated with Xanax misuse:

Dependence And Addiction

Xanax use is known to cause physical dependence when taken chronically. If you abuse Xanax tablets, this can develop quicker and become severe over time, making it difficult to quit.

Misusing Xanax can also lead to a psychological addiction, where you feel reliant on your drug use mentally or emotionally just to get through the day and feel normal.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Another serious side effect of chronic Xanax abuse is withdrawal. This is a condition that develops if you try to stop taking Xanax very suddenly after becoming dependent.

Withdrawal from benzodiazepines, like with alcohol, can be very uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening if you stop taking Xanax pills all at once, without tapering your dosage.

Xanax withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • rebound anxiety
  • unusual ringing in the ears
  • muscle twitches
  • depression
  • hallucinations
  • delusions
  • memory problems
  • difficulty sleeping
  • overexcitement
  • seizures
  • thoughts of suicide or harming yourself
  • loss of touch with reality

Withdrawal can develop within hours after taking your last dose. Some symptoms, including rebound anxiety and depression, may last weeks or months after last use.

Xanax Overdose

Overdose is another primary concern associated with Xanax abuse. 

A Xanax overdose can occur by taking high doses of Xanax all at once, or by mixing it with other depressants, like alcohol or opioids (e.g. fentanyl).

According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, overdose deaths involving opioids and benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium are on the rise.

Both can cause sedation, as well as respiratory depression (slow or stopped breathing) when taken together. Emergency medical care may be needed to prevent fatal outcomes.

Treatment Options For Xanax Abuse And Addiction

Xanax can be safe and effective when taken as prescribed by a doctor.

Misusing this prescription drug, however, can have harmful effects, and may require substance abuse treatment, beginning with medical detox for withdrawal.

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we offer a high-quality detox program and residential treatment for those who require a higher level of care for addiction.

Within our inpatient Xanax treatment programs, you’ll find:

  • medical supervision and support
  • evidence-based treatment services
  • psychiatric services
  • dual diagnosis treatment
  • holistic care
  • aftercare support

Call Today To Learn More About Xanax Addiction Treatment At Bedrock

Bedrock Recovery Center is a leading addiction treatment center in Massachusetts.

For more information about Xanax addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one at Bedrock, call our helpline to speak with a treatment specialist today.


Sources:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — XANAX Alprazolam tablets https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/018276s044,021434s006lbl.pdf 

U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Benzodiazepines and Opioids https://nida.nih.gov/drug-topics/opioids/benzodiazepines-opioids 

U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Alprazolam https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a684001.html