In America, the drug alprazolam is one of the most frequently used medications, with more than 48 million prescriptions in 2013 alone. Alprazolam is a type of sedative or depressant known as a benzodiazepine drug, and it is typically given to patients to help treat anxiety disorders or sleep issues such as insomnia. While it’s commonly known by one of its brand names, Xanax, there are actually several variations of this popular drug. It also has several street names, and one of the most common ones is Xanax bars.

But what is a Xanax bar? This term is actually derived from the long and rectangular shape of particular alprazolam pills. There are many other similar slang terms for these drugs, such as planks, bars, handlebars, sticks, bricks, totem poles, and ladders. Also, there can be different types of Xanax bars, depending on the drug manufacturer. Although the nickname uses the brand name Xanax, Xanax bars can refer to different brands or generic versions of alprazolam.

However, Xanax bars most often refer to a specific form of the drug. A frequent question that people ask is how many mg is a Xanax bar, and the answer is generally 2 mg. These are the rectangular, bar-shaped tablets and they come in several different colors—usually white, light green, yellow, or light blue—which vary by the company manufacturing the drug. These bars are sectioned so they can be divided into four pieces of 0.25 mg each.

It’s important to note that there are other types of alprazolam tablets in different sizes, dosages, and colors. Typically, these pills are round or oval, and come in dosage strengths including 0.25 mg (white pills), 0.5 mg (orange or yellow), and 1 mg (blue, green, or yellow). The highest dosage for an alprazolam tablet is 3 mg, and this extended-release pill is usually green in color and triangular in shape.

How Do Xanax Bars Work?

Alprazolam drugs, including Xanax bars, have a powerful effect on the body’s central nervous system. They trigger an increase in GABA, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA inhibits brain activity and the effect is similar to that of a tranquilizer, where a person feels an enhanced sense of blissfulness. This is why it is typically used for people who are suffering from various kinds of anxiety disorders, as it has a soothing and calming effect that can ease their intense worries or fears. It is also good for people who have serious sleep disorders, particularly those such as insomnia that prevent them from getting the sleep they need. In these cases, alprazolam helps their mind rest so their bodies can also rest.

Alprazolam is often prescribed because it acts quickly and powerfully—but those characteristics also make the drug highly addictive, and when it is misused it can have dangerous results. Proper dosage depends on each individual patient and what the doctor prescribes; other factors include whether the medication is fast acting or extended release, and how often it should be taken each day. On average, adults with anxiety generally are allowed up to 4 mg of alprazolam per day. For adult patients who are prescribed the drug for a panic disorder, the maximum is typically 10 mg per day. Because there are strict limits on how much alprazolam to take over the course of a day, as well as intricate, individualized guidelines on how the dosage should be parceled out during that time, it is easy for recreational users of Xanax bars to misuse the drug.

If taken too frequently, or at a higher dosage than prescribed, this drug can have potent and debilitating side effects as well as withdrawal symptoms that can pose serious health risks.

Xanax Bar Side Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms

Because it slows down the brain and affects the central nervous system, alprazolam can take a harsh toll on the body. Side effects can be numerous: lower blood pressure, difficulty speaking, uncoordinated movement, numbness, drowsiness, and a foggy brain that can cause problems with attention span, memory, and the capability to make sound judgements. Also, the highly addictive nature of Xanax bars and other kinds of alprazolam medications carry a high risk of overdose over time, as well as a greater risk of long-term effects such as depression, aggression, or psychotic experiences.

If this drug is misused with increasing frequency, it can easily lead to addiction. In that case, stopping use of the drug can trigger intense withdrawal symptoms. These may include heightened anxiety or agitation, a spike in heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, fever and sweating, seizures, drug cravings, and hallucinations.

Problems can also occur when users mix alcohol and Xanax or other alprazolam medications, which can cause health problems in both the short and long term. Another risk users may face is that fake Xanax bars are common and difficult to discern from the real thing, and they can be cut with other substances that could cause a potentially fatal response. That is why it is important for anyone taking alprazolam medication to ensure that the pills are from a pharmacy in a container that they have personally obtained.

It doesn’t matter how many mg is in a Xanax bar—misuse or addiction at any dosage strength is unhealthy and dangerous. Because Xanax bar side effects and withdrawal symptoms can be so intense, it is wise to seek professional help when trying to end an addiction or use disorder.

Get Help for Xanax Bar Addiction and Misuse

At Clear Sky Recovery, our experienced team of medical professionals uses a holistic approach and medically sound ibogaine treatment to help individuals detox from alprazolam and other prescription medications. We provide a safe and comfortable setting where patients can focus on a successful recovery. To learn more about ibogaine therapy, please contact us today.