Xanax Bars | Strengths, Dangers, & Side Effects
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, which is a prescription drug that can treat panic disorder and other anxiety disorders. It’s classified as a benzodiazepine (or “benzo”) and central nervous system depressant.
It’s available as a tablet, extended-release tablet, orally disintegrating tablet, and liquid solution.
Some of the tablets are oval-shaped, while others are rectangular. The rectangular tablets are often called “Xanax bars.” As with all forms of Xanax, Xanax bars pose a high risk of abuse and addiction.
Xanax Bar Colors & Strengths
Brand name Xanax bars are white. Generic alprazolam bars are green, yellow, or blue, depending on the manufacturer.
No matter the color, each bar contains 2 milligrams of alprazolam and is scored in three places so you can break it into smaller doses if necessary.
The bars are the strongest immediate-release form of alprazolam available. The overall strongest form is a green, triangular, extended-release tablet that contains 3 milligrams of alprazolam.
Dangers Of Xanax Bars
When taken as prescribed, Xanax bars produce a mild calming effect that can help people better manage their anxiety disorders. When misused, however, the bars can lead to addiction and overdose.
Xanax Bar Addiction
Xanax bars can make you feel euphoric or “high,” especially at high doses. That’s why some people abuse them. Xanax abuse occurs when you take the drug in a manner not prescribed by your doctor.
For example, someone might take more bars than prescribed or take them without a prescription.
People who abuse alprazolam often become addicted to it. Frequent Xanax use, even as prescribed by a doctor, can also cause Xanax addiction. Thus, most medical professionals prescribe the drug only for short-term or occasional use to prevent or treat panic attacks.
The most common symptoms of Xanax bar addiction include:
- tolerance, which means you need increasingly higher doses of the drug to feel the desired effects
- physical dependence, which means you experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you don’t use the drug
- mood swings
- avoiding family and friends
- avoiding work or school
- doctor shopping (visiting multiple doctors to get multiple prescriptions of Xanax bars)
People who struggle with Xanax abuse or addiction should seek professional help at an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment center.
Medical professionals can help them safely detox from the medication and prevent relapse through therapy, support groups, and other recovery-focused services.
Xanax Bar Overdose
Xanax is a short-acting drug, which means its effects usually wear off in just a few hours.
To experience a longer, more intense high, some people take multiple Xanax bars in a short period of time, while other people mix the bars with drugs like alcohol or opioids. These behaviors pose a serious risk of overdose.
Common signs of Xanax bar overdose include:
- unusual talkativeness
- impaired coordination
- trouble breathing
- loss of consciousness (coma)
If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek emergency health care services immediately. When left untreated, a Xanax bar overdose can be fatal.
Effects Of Xanax Bars
Along with the risk of addiction and overdose, Xanax bars come with a number of possible side effects. The most common side effects include:
- dry mouth
- trouble urinating
- trouble concentrating
- altered sex drive or ability
- changes in weight and/or appetite
- joint pain
The bars can also cause more serious side effects, such as
- severe rash
- yellowing of the eyes or skin
- memory problems
- trouble speaking
- hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there)
- suicidal thoughts or attempts
Seek medical advice immediately if you or someone you love experiences these or other unusual side effects.
If you or a loved one misuses Xanax bars, please reach out to an Ark Behavioral Health specialist to learn about our comprehensive substance abuse and addiction treatment programs.
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