What Xanax Adiction Looks Like & Spotting Fake Pills
Xanax is a drug used to treat anxiety and/or panic disorders. It’s not an opioid – it’s part of a drug class called benzodiazepines, AKA benzos. Xanax is the most frequently prescribed psychoactive drug in America. Treatments vary between 0.25mg and 2mg pills, two or three times a day.
Xanax is also the most widely abused benzo. It’s extremely addictive and is involved in around 16% of all opioid overdoses. A few months ago, the CDC published a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on benzodiazepine overdoses, the first ever to study multistate benzo abuse. From the report:
From April–June 2019 to April–June 2020, overall benzodiazepine deaths increased 42.9% (from 1,004 to 1,435), prescription benzodiazepine deaths increased 21.8% (from 921 to 1,122), and illicit benzodiazepine deaths increased 519.6% (from 51 to 316). During January–June 2020, most (92.7%) benzodiazepine deaths also involved opioids, mainly illicitly manufactured fentanyls (IMFs) (66.7%).
Not only are four Americans dying every single day from benzo overdoses, but the trend shows the count is only rising. That’s why it’s critical to know what Xanax abuse looks like, what Xanax itself looks like, some slang terms it’s referred to as, and how to find help.
If you or someone you know is abusing Xanax, or any substance at all for that matter, please call us today. First City is here to help.
What Xanax Abuse Looks Like
The effects of Xanax take about an hour to kick in, and typically last around six hours. It produces sedative and euphoric effects, making it highly subject to abuse. Signs of Xanax abuse, or of other benzodiazepines, include but are not limited to:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Slurred speech
- Impaired movement
- Cognitive impairment
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Vertigo-like symptoms
- Dilated pupils
- Dry mouth
Prolonged abuse of Xanax, or of other benzodiazepines, can cause more severe damage. Some of this damage can be permanent. Effects of prolonged abuse include but are not limited to:
- Depression and/or Anxiety
- Antisocial behavior
- Extreme aggression
- High risk of dementia and/or psychosis
It’s very common for drug abusers to mix Xanax with other drugs, especially with opioids. As mentioned, nearly one in five opioid overdoses involves benzo abuse as well. Because Xanax isn’t as easily recognizable as most other abused drugs, it’s important to know both what it looks like and what nicknames it’s known as among abusers.
What Xanax Looks Like (and its Nicknames)
There are four different strength pills of brand-name Xanax. It’s currently manufactured by Pfizer but there are thirteen other pharmaceutical companies that produce generic versions of alprazolam, the main active ingredient in Xanax. In total there are 44 different generic alprazolam tablets, when accounting for the different strengths.
Here is what the four brand-name Xanax pills look like:
- 25mg: White, oval-shaped tablet, says “XANAX 0.25” on one side.
- 5mg: Peach, oval-shaped tablet, says “XANAX 0.5” on one side.
- 1mg: Blue, oval-shaped tablet, says “XANAX 1.0” on one side.
- 2mg: White, rectangular tablet with round edges, says “XANAX” on one side, “2” on the other.
The 2mg pills are often called “Xanax bars” or “Xanny bars”. However, there are plenty of other nicknames for Xanax on the street. The following is an incomplete list, but we’ve included as many nicknames as we could discover.
Xanax has developed many different nicknames, including:
- Bike Parts (or Bicycle Parts)
- White Girls (or White Boys)
- Totem Poles
- X (although ecstasy is also commonly called ‘X’)
Xanax abuse is growing in popularity every single day. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of abuse, as well as the drug itself and what it’s called, can be critical in trying to help an abuser. While the goal of anyone trying to recover, or help someone recover, is to achieve sobriety, it’s quite dangerous to stop abusing drugs without medical supervision. That’s because of withdrawal and all the nasty symptoms it can bring.
Help with Xanax Abuse/Addiction
Nobody has to fight addiction alone. There are countless support systems beyond friends and family that can assist in the transition from abuse to sobriety. First City is one of the best of those support systems. Call us today to discover just how many options there are to help yourself or someone you love.
Dr. Vahid Osman, MD is a psychiatry specialist in Indianapolis, IN.
Dr. Osman completed a residency at Austin State Hospital. He has over 32 years of experience in Psychiatry & Behavioral Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.