What Are Xanax Bars?

Xanax bars, also called “zanies” and “planks,” are small, pill-sized Xanax tablets that can be broken down into quarters and taken individually. Each Xanax bar has 2-milligrams per dose, but when broken in half, becomes 2, 1-milligram pieces of a bar. Smaller doses include 0.5 milligrams and 0.25 milligrams, which is the smallest dose.

People who have developed a tolerance to a quarter of a Xanax bar often double their dosage to 2 small quarter-sized squares. Some take an entire Xanax bar, which can create irritability, aggression, and hyperactive behavior. More symptoms may follow, like chest pain, low blood pressure, drowsiness, and withdrawal symptoms. Many will continue to use Xanax bars and pills in order to escape withdrawal symptoms like panic attacks and shaking.

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What Is Xanax?

Xanax is a Benzodiazepine primarily used to treat generalized anxiety disorder by enhancing chemicals in the brain known as GABA. Xanax reproduces GABA in the brain which helps to calm the brain and nervous system. The body is also relaxed, and the individual can feel calm in less than half an hour after taking a Xanax bar.  Some users find relaxation in as little as 20 minutes, and remain relaxed for 2 to 11 hours. The Benzodiazepine stays in the body up to 3 days after initial use.

Also called Alprazolam, Xanax works to treat insomnia and panic disorders that affect millions in America. People experiencing muscle twitches and cramps from stress-related conditions also use Xanax for relaxation. There are various colors of Xanax pills, each with a different dosage and different effects on the brain. Xanax is the most prescribed medication in the United States, and it has extremely addictive properties.

In some cases, people combine Xanax bars with other drugs like Cocaine. In other cases, people have been misled into taking counterfeit versions of the drug which have caused sudden death when the counterfeit contains other dangerous substances. The most common and well-known example of polydrug use involving Xanax is alcohol. This combination is especially dangerous and likely to lead to overdose or other disastrous consequences. People also take Valium with Xanax for similar reasons and with similar consequences.

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The Dangers Of Xanax Bars

Once someone gets used to the calming effect of Xanax, they can risk developing a tolerance for the drug, and start taking more. Sadly, people taking Xanax bars often quickly shift from taking a prescribed dosage to doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling up on pills. Some even combine Xanax with other Benzodiazepines like Valium, or with Marijuana and alcohol. Once someone develops a tolerance, they can do irreparable damage their bodies.

Teens And Xanax Use

Xanax is popular among teenagers to help them cope with the stressors, depressions, and anxieties of teenage life. This is problematic as early Xanax use among teens increases the likelihood of a life-long dependence. A 2016 report notes “roughly 70% of teens experimented with drugs or alcohol” before 15 years old. Out of these drugs, many young students are hooked on Xanax. It is widely available in schools, and some teens get the drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets. Since Xanax relaxes the mind and body, teens often find themselves abusing the substance and then want something stronger. Some teenagers up the risk by combining Xanax with alcohol or other drugs and can take multiple Xanax bars a day.

Expectant Mothers And Xanax Bars

Expectant mothers abusing Xanax bars can affect unborn babies with fetal developmental problems. Since anxiety and muscle cramps are common during pregnancy, mothers may be prescribed a Benzodiazepine to relax them. Mothers can experience nausea, seizures, and tremors during Xanax withdrawal. Like other substance abuse disorders, mothers abusing Xanax can impact the baby as the chemicals transfer to the baby through the bloodstream.

Xanax Bars And College Students

Xanax continues to be one of the most popularly-used drugs among college students. 31% of drug overdoses in this age group involve Xanax or other Benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepine use is high on campus, due to college students experiencing the pressure exams and fitting in.

The prevalence of other drugs on college campuses can encourage students to combine Xanax with other drugs like alcohol, Marijuana, and Opioids. Combining drugs increases the potential to overdose, especially when the student does not know that they are doing it. Xanax is sometimes laced with other substances, most dangerously powerful Opioids like Fentanyl or Carfentanil. These potent and destructive substances pose extremely dangerous risks for a Xanax user, including fatal overdose.

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Seniors And Xanax Bars

Some studies have found that as many as 1 in 4 seniors abuse Xanax. With the process of aging and being away from loved ones, seniors may feel anxiety. Depending on previous drug use, and the state of the body, they may experience muscle cramps. Once they take Xanax, they will feel the ease in the bodies and can depend on it for this reason alone. Sadly, seniors risk the standard side effects of Xanax, and can also suffer from broken hips, vehicular crashes, falls, Xanax addiction, and fatal overdoses.

Find Help

The key in substance abuse treatment is early detection and taking the steps to get treatment. Despite Xanax’s ability to hook in users, there is help available for you or your loved one. For more information on Xanax addiction and treatment options, contact a treatment provider today.

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Krystina Murray

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  • Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.

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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:

David Hampton

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  • A survivor of addiction himself, David Hampton is a Certified Professional Recovery Coach (CPRC) and a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

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