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What Are Xanax Bars?
Xanax is the brand-name for alprazolam, a Benzodiazepine which doctors prescribe to treat generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. Throughout the world, Xanax is one of the most commonly-prescribed medications for anxiety. In the United States, Xanax is a Schedule IV controlled substance. It is illegal to possess Xanax without a prescription. While Xanax helps many people feel calm under stress, the drug also poses risks for side-effects, overdose, and dependence. One of the most common forms of Xanax is what is called a “bar.”
Alprazolam can exist in several forms, including as a liquid, a disintegrating tablet, or a pill. Xanax bars are rectangular alprazolam pills which weigh usually 2 milligrams. Brand-name Xanax bars are white. Generic alprazolam bars are typically yellow, green, or blue. Unlike other Xanax bars, blue Xanax bars weigh 1 milligram. The heavier a Xanax bar, the more alprazolam it contains. Strictly-speaking, round or elliptical alprazolam pills are not Xanax bars. They also tend to weigh less. For example, purple, pink, and orange Xanax pills are usually round. A purple Xanax pill weighs 1 milligram, while pink and orange Xanax pills only weigh 0.5 milligrams.
Most Xanax bars are indented in one or two places to allow a person to break them apart for smaller doses. Some Xanax bars can be divided into as many as four pieces to provide four doses of 0.5 or 0.25 milligrams. “Planks,” “zanies,” and “school buses” (for yellow pills) are common slang terms for Xanax bars.
The Effects of Xanax Bars
Like most Benzodiazepines, Xanax bars amplify the potency of GABA, a neurotransmitter which inhibits connectivity among neurons. This effect sedates the nervous system by suppressing neural hyperactivity, the cause of anxiety and panic. As a result, a person who uses a Xanax bar may feel relaxed and drowsy. In some cases, a Xanax bar will cause a person to fall asleep. For this reason, some people use Xanax to alleviate insomnia.
A Xanax bar may also inflict side-effects. Most side-effects of alprazolam are not life-threatening. Some side-effects of Xanax bars include:
- Enhanced dreams
- Impaired coordination
- Loss of appetite or libido
- Memory loss
- Muscle pain, twitching, or weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
In severe cases, Xanax bars can inflict more serious side-effects, such as hallucinations, fainting, convulsions, jaundice, and seizures. Alprazolam does not safely interact with Alcohol, other Benzodiazepines, Opioids, anticonvulsants, or antihistamines.
The Symptoms of a Xanax Overdose
The maximum daily dose of Xanax is 4 mg. If a person takes more than two Xanax bars, they risk an alprazolam overdose. Occasionally, an overdose on Xanax can be fatal. The most common symptoms of an alprazolam overdose are intensified side-effects of the drug, especially drowsiness, impaired reflexes, blurred vision, confusion, and muscle twitching. The deadliest overdoses symptoms are chest pains, seizures, difficulty breathing, and coma.
A safe dose of Xanax will vary from person to person depending on a variety of physical factors, such as weight and metabolic disorders. To avoid an overdose, always take Xanax bars with a prescription and follow the prescription exactly. Do not give Xanax bars to other people. Additionally, avoid taking Xanax with other drugs, particularly other central nervous system depressants. If you observe the signs of an alprazolam overdose, seek medical help immediately.
Xanax Bars Abuse and Dependence
Xanax bars allow people to abuse alprazolam in high doses to quickly feel relaxed. From 1999 to 2015, there was a substantial increase in the frequency of Xanax overdoses. Furthermore, a recent survey study found that about 20% of people who have a prescription for Xanax misuse the medication. While young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years old are most likely to abuse Xanax, older adults are more likely to have Xanax prescriptions and the problem exists among all age groups.
A person abuses Xanax bars by taking them without a prescription or by taking too many. In addition to the risk of overdose, Xanax abuse increases the likelihood of a Xanax dependence disorder. When someone uses Xanax bars regularly, they will begin to develop tolerance to the effects of the drug and require more Xanax to relax. As a person takes Xanax bars consistently and in higher quantities, they will begin to rely on the drug to feel normal. This is the state of dependence. If that person stops using Xanax, they will suffer withdrawal.
The symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include:
- Blurred vision
- Hypersensitivity to light
- Muscle pain
- Rebound anxiety and panic attacks
A sudden case of Xanax withdrawal can cause a fatal seizure. If you want to stop taking Xanax bars, it is best to gradually reduce your dose. Your healthcare provider may recommend taking 0.5 fewer milligrams every three days until you completely stop. A treatment program for a Xanax use disorder will most likely involve Xanax detox, the process of undergoing withdrawal under medical supervision.
Start Rehab Today for a Xanax Addiction
If you or someone you know is abusing Xanax bars, take action today to end dependence and prevent an overdose. A professional rehab program can help anyone overcome a harmful Xanax habit. Please contact a dedicated treatment provider today to learn more about your options for rehab and how to get started with treatment and recovery.
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