What is a Xanax Bar?: Types, Effects, & Overdose Dangers

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Xanax bars are a commonly abused form of the prescription benzodiazepine Xanax (alprazolam). Understanding the different types of Xanax bars, their effects, and the dangers associated with their misuse is essential for promoting safe and responsible use.

In this guide, we will explore what Xanax bars are, the various types available, the effects of Xanax, and the symptoms of Xanax overdose.

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What is a Xanax Bar?

A Xanax bar is a high-strength version of Xanax pills that is not intended for everyone who has been prescribed the medication. It is often sought by those who misuse the benzodiazepine for its sedative effects.  

Types of Xanax Bars

Xanax bars come in various colors and shapes, each indicating a different dosage strength. An understanding of other names for Xanax allows those with a Xanax prescription to recognize the appearance and potential risks of various forms of alprazolam.

Blue Xanax Bars

Blue Xanax bars are typically available in a 1mg strength. They are often scored into two halves, making it easy to split Xanax dosages. Some blue Xanax bars may have 031 R imprinted on them. The blue color of these bars is often due to inactive ingredients or fillers rather than colorants.

White Xanax Bars

White Xanax bars are rectangular in shape and frequently prescribed in a 2mg strength. They can be easily divided into smaller dosing portions, making it easier for individuals to control their measured dose. White Xanax bars are commonly referred to as sticks and are popular among those who misuse or abuse Xanax.

Green Xanax Bars

Green Xanax bars come in various shapes, including rectangular, oval, triangular, and rounded forms. The strength of green Xanax bars can be either 2mg or 3mg. The green color does not indicate increased potency compared to other Xanax bars of the same strength. Green Xanax bars may also be referred to as green ovals or green monsters.

Yellow Xanax Bars

Yellow Xanax bars are commonly available in generic form and may have a series of digits imprinted on them, such as 039. They are usually prescribed in a 2mg strength, similar to white Xanax bars. The yellow color of these bars has led to the nickname yellow bus due to its resemblance to school buses.

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Effects of Xanax

These are the most common Xanax side effects:

  • Anxiety reduction: Xanax is primarily prescribed for its anxiolytic properties. It helps to alleviate symptoms of anxiety by calming the CNS (central nervous system) and reducing excessive brain activity. Many individuals report a significant reduction in feelings of worry, fear, and tension when taking Xanax as prescribed.
  • Sedation and relaxation: Xanax induces a sedative effect, which can induce feelings of relaxation and drowsiness. It can help individuals with anxiety-related sleep disturbances to achieve a calmer state and improve their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Muscle relaxation: Xanax has muscle relaxant properties, leading to a decrease in muscle tension and spasms. This effect can be beneficial for those who experience muscle tension as a result of anxiety or other conditions.
  • Altered cognitive function: Xanax can affect cognitive function, causing mental impairments such as difficulty concentrating, decreased alertness, and slowed thinking processes. These effects can impact someone’s ability to perform tasks that require focus and attention.
  • Euphoria and feelings of well-being: Some people may experience a sense of euphoria or heightened feelings of well-being when taking Xanax. This effect can contribute to the misuse and abuse of the medication, as individuals may seek the pleasurable sensations it produces.
  • Memory impairment: Xanax can cause short-term memory impairment and difficulty forming new memories. This can result in forgetfulness and difficulty recalling events or information during the time Xanax is active in the system.
  • Coordination and balance issues: Xanax can affect motor coordination and balance, leading to clumsiness, unsteadiness, and impaired physical performance. Engaging in activities that require fine motor skills or driving a vehicle can be dangerous while under the influence of Xanax.

These effects can vary from person to person and depend on factors like dosage, tolerance, and overall health. Beyond this, the effects of Xanax can be intensified or altered when combined with other substances, especially alcohol and opioids. Mixing Xanax with these substances can lead to increased sedation, respiratory depression, and potentially life-threatening outcomes.

Xanax Overdose Symptoms 

Xanax overdose can occur when someone takes more Xanax than their body can metabolize or when they combine Xanax with other substances that enhance its effects – alcohol or opioids, for instance. Overdosing on Xanax can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Here are some common symptoms of a Xanax overdose:

  • Extreme drowsiness and sedation: Taking a high dose of Xanax or combining it with other depressant substances can result in severe drowsiness and sedation. The person may struggle to stay awake, appear extremely lethargic, or even slip into a coma.
  • Confusion and disorientation: Xanax overdose can lead to disorientation, confusion, and impaired cognitive function. The individual may have trouble comprehending their surroundings, have difficulty speaking or forming coherent sentences, and exhibit memory lapses.
  • Slowed or shallow breathing: One of the most dangerous effects of a Xanax overdose is respiratory depression, which can manifest as slowed or shallow breathing. Breathing may become labored or irregular, and in severe cases, it can lead to respiratory arrest or complete cessation of breathing.
  • Weakness and loss of muscle control: Xanax overdose can trigger profound weakness and loss of muscle control, making it difficult for the individual to move or coordinate their movements properly. They may appear unsteady on their feet, have trouble maintaining balance, or exhibit slurred speech.
  • Blue lips or fingernails: In severe cases of Xanax overdose, lack of oxygen due to respiratory depression can lead to cyanosis, a condition characterized by bluish discoloration of the lips, fingertips, or nails. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate intervention.
  • Low blood pressure and weak pulse: Xanax overdose can cause a drop in blood pressure, resulting in lightheadedness, fainting, or a weak pulse. The person may experience dizziness, blurred vision, or even lose consciousness.
  • Coma and death: In extreme cases, a Xanax overdose can lead to a coma or fatal outcome. The combination of respiratory depression, cardiovascular complications, and central nervous system depression can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

If you suspect that someone has overdosed on Xanax bars, or if you are experiencing these symptoms after taking Xanax, seek emergency medical assistance immediately. Contact local emergency services and request immediate help.

Remember that Xanax should only be taken as prescribed by a healthcare professional. Misusing or abusing Xanax, taking higher doses than directed, or combining alprazolam with other substances can greatly increase the risk of overdose and serious health complications. If you or someone you know is struggling with Xanax misuse or addiction, seeking professional help from a healthcare provider or addiction treatment center is strongly recommended.

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Get Treatment for Xanax Withdrawal and Addiction at California Detox

If you need assistance quitting Xanax safely and comfortably, reach out to California Detox in Laguna Beach – we can help you from detox to discharge and beyond.

Our supervised medical detox program allows you to withdraw from Xanax with a tapered reduction in dosage. This gradual approach to detox will minimize benzo withdrawal symptoms. Following detoxification, you can transition into ongoing inpatient treatment at our affordable luxury rehab center. Here, you can access the following therapies:

  • Psychotherapy (CBT or DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Holistic therapies
  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
  • Aftercare

Contact admissions by calling (949) 694-8305 and move beyond addiction to Xanax bars.


Xanax is a branded version of the generic drug alprazolam, a benzodiazepine prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
The appropriate dosage of Xanax varies depending on the individual’s condition, medical history, and other factors. Taking too much Xanax can lead to serious side effects and overdose, so it is important to follow the prescribed dosage and consult a healthcare professional for guidance.


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