The Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) estimates that over 40 million adults nationwide experience anxiety symptoms. As a widespread condition, anxiety is relatively treatable, and various techniques are employed to help patients manage their symptoms.
One of the most common pharmaceutical interventions for anxiety disorders is alprazolam. Alprazolam is a type of benzodiazepine used to tranquilize and reduce symptoms of anxiety. Alprazolam is sold under the brand name Xanax, and it comes in various forms, including tablets, bars, capsules, or extended-release tablets.
Despite its provided effect, Xanax is one of the most commonly abused drugs today among young adults. In this post, we’ll expound on the effects of Xanax, its therapeutic uses, and its addictive potential. With proper knowledge, you can protect yourself and your family members from the dangers of Xanax abuse.
What Are Xanax Bars?
Xanax bars are also informally known as “zanies” or “planks.” As mentioned earlier, Xanax bars are used to treat anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety. A single Xanax bar contains 2mg of alprazolam, but they are often broken in half for a controlled and more manageable dosing.
People who’ve been taking alprazolam medication for a long time and have developed a tolerance to regular dosing are often prescribed two-quarter-size Xanax bars. Taking the entire Xanax bar is not always ideal as it could lead to unwanted side effects like irritability, drowsiness, and chest pain.
What Does Xanax Look Like?
Xanax medications exist in several forms and colors, which indicates the drug’s concentration.
We’ve listed the most common type of Xanax pills and bars you might encounter:
White Xanax Bar
This is the most common type of Xanax bar you’ll see commercially. White Xanax pills or bars contain 2mg, which is standard for most treatment plans.
Purple Xanax Bar
Purple Xanax pills or bars contain 2mg of the product. The only difference here is that Pfizer manufactures purple Xanax.
Green Xanax Bar
Green Xanax bars contain 3mg of alprazolam, making them more potent than the 2mg white or purple pills. This is often prescribed for those with a tolerance to the standard dose.
Yellow Xanax Bar
Yellow Xanax bars, also known as “school bus” or generic alprazolam bars, contain 2mg of alprazolam. The color difference is due to the drug’s manufacturer, not its potency or concentration.
Peach Xanax Bar
A peach Xanax bar contains the lowest concentration at 0.5mg. Peach Xanax bars also come in 2 mg variations.
Blue Xanax Bar
The most common concentration of a blue Xanax bar is 1 mg, but you can also find higher concentrations.
Pink Xanax Bar
Also known as the “strongest mg Xanax bar,” a pink Xanax bar is often available at a 3mg concentration. This is rarely used and requires medical supervision.
Red Xanax Bar
A red Xanax bar is a counterfeit product, as no known and reliable manufacturer documents the use of this color in this medication.
How Is Xanax Prescribed?
As mentioned in earlier sections, Xanax is a prescription drug used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorders such as:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: This type of anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent excessive worry and irrational fear that lasts for months.
- Panic disorder: This is a type of anxiety disorder where the patient experiences sudden and recurrent attacks of fear. Sudden palpitations and chest pains often characterize panic attacks.
- Social anxiety disorder: Also known as social phobia, this type of anxiety disorder is characterized by a fear of being negatively judged in social situations.
- Phobias: Phobias are irrational fears of particular objects and situations. Common examples include fear of animals, heights, enclosed spaces, etc.
Xanax belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines, a medication targeting the central nervous system. Benzodiazepines alleviate anxiety and panic disorders by slowing down the brain’s activity. This helps the patient manage their panic attacks, reducing fear and resulting in a calming effect.
What Are the Side Effects of Taking Xanax?
In most cases, the side effects of Xanax bars are not life-threatening.
Some of the common side effects include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Increased saliva production
- Headache or confusion
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination and balance
Hallucinations, rapid mood changes, thoughts of self-harm, and inability to speak are some of the serious side effects of xanax. When these symptoms are present, you must contact your doctor immediately to provide appropriate medication adjustments.
What Are the Symptoms of Xanax Overdose?
Symptoms of Xanax overdose are similar and resemble the side effects of regular Xanax use as mentioned above. Xanax is a fast-acting prescription medication and . Xanax pills and xanax bars can cause severe complications as overdose often happens unexpectedly from high doses consumed.
In addition, dealers often crush alprazolam into a powder and use a pill press to mix the powder with other substances. This one scary process allows others to actually combine xanax with potent drugs like fentanyl. When you buy xanax bars from the “streets” there is a serious and high risk of fake xanax being ingested.
Specific xanax overdose symptoms include difficulty in concentrating, drowsiness, and unusual talkativeness. Overdose can also result in changes in appetite, constipation, nausea, and difficulty passing urine.
A prescribed amount of Xanax may cause drowsiness, slowed breathing, and lower blood pressure, but taking more than required could result in a medical emergency if the blood pressure or rate of breathing drops below a safe threshold.
Different cases entail common symptoms and different Xanax dosing, so you must consult a medical expert to discuss your needs. The following are the most common dosages for each specific condition:
- Types of anxiety: For general adults, the typical dosing is between 0.25 to 0.5mg and is often taken three times daily. The daily restriction is below 4mg of total intake.
- Panic disorder: The typical dosing for general adults is 0.5 to 1 mg once daily. The daily limit for this medication is below 10 mg of total intake.
Your tailored dosage depends heavily on your age, the severity of your condition, and previous drug use. Adults with severe anxiety and who have been taking alprazolam for a long time will often receive higher than usual dosing compared to first-time Xanax users.
Another common misconception regarding proper Xanax use is that you need to “catch up” with your missed doses. This is false, as double dosing to make up for a missed dose could lead to an overdose.
How Addictive Are Xanax Bars?
Xanax is one of the most commonly misused prescription drugs on the market. In 2020, it was estimated that over 16.7 million patients were prescribed Xanax to relieve anxiety, treat insomnia or other sleep disorders and panic attacks.
The addictive cycle of Xanax starts when the patient’s body learns to tolerate the standard dose quickly. Xanax or alprazolam sedates the brain, reducing fear and nervousness. As users start relying on the medication, they must take a higher dosage to achieve their desired effect.
This leads to the patient taking a higher dosage without consulting their doctor, further increasing tolerance and dependence. The impact of suddenly withdrawing from Xanax could be severe, and it’s best to contact your doctor for a proper tapering-off plan. Without proper medical supervision, the results could be dire.
Xanax bars are very addictive. Xanax misuse of brand name Xanax bars, rectangular Xanax bars, or multiple Xanax bars in any combination including multiple prescriptions can cause addiction. Xanax use disorder is serious and addiction treatment services are suggested.
What Are the Symptoms of Xanax Addiction?
Most symptoms common signs of Xanax addiction are similar to any other prescription substance abuse disorder. People who are addicted to this drug will often exhibit tendencies like:
- Manic moods
- Memory problems
- Drug-seeking behavior
- Loss of control over usage
- Psychological and physical dependency
- Loss of interest in daily routine
- Other physical signs, like sluggishness, loss of bodily control, and slurred speech.
Xanax use is proven beneficial to treat anxiety disorders and their subtypes. However, it’s easy to deviate from this medication’s safe and recommended usage when it’s accessible. If you find yourself or someone close to you developing a Xanax addiction, it’s paramount that you seek medical help immediately.
What Are the Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal?
Physical dependence on Xanax and other benzodiazepines can lead to various withdrawal symptoms. The intensity of these symptoms mainly depends on the frequency, amount, and duration of usage.
Some of the most commonly observed Xanax withdrawal symptoms are as follows:
- Mood swings
- Worsening of panic attacks and anxiety
- Insomnia and sleep disturbances
- Muscle pain
- Hypersensitivity to light
Xanax withdrawal symptoms are turbulent and can be detrimental for patients without proper supervision. Patients who experience severe withdrawal symptoms frequently return to the drug for relief, and their dependence can make dangerous withdrawal symptoms worsen.
Turning Point of Tampa Addiction Treatment for Xanax Bar Addiction
Various treatment methods are applicable depending on the length of substance abuse and the severity of dependence.
Here are some treatments we offer for Xanax bars abuse at Turning Point of Tampa:
- Drug detoxification: We use a tailored tapering-off program to reduce the intake of Xanax gradually. This method works best when the patient is in an organized environment and healthcare providers monitor it.
- Residential treatment: This is best for individuals severely dependent on Xanax. Residential treatment requires the patient to stay in a facility and undergo comprehensive therapy sessions as part of their recovery program.
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP): IOP is suitable for individuals who have progressed in their recovery and can attend meetings without much supervision.
- Aftercare programs: Once you’ve completed the treatment program, aftercare programs are essential for a complete and sustainable recovery. These programs help you maintain your sobriety and stay healthy in the long run.
You Are Not Alone – Get the Help You Need Today
Xanax addiction is easy to develop and hard to overcome, especially for those with access to the drug. If you’re in this situation, it’s easy to think there’s no way out, but we’re here to help you see the way. With our tailored and comprehensive recovery approach, you can get back to living a better life with peace of mind.
Contact our team today and get the help you need, or extend your support to a struggling friend or family member. With our long-term and comprehensive approach, you can easily start a sustainable recovery.