Prescription drug abuse has become a wide-spread problem in the United States. This is a world-wide problem that can only be solved with greater awareness and education about prescription drug misuse.
If you are concerned about someone you love, it will help you to know as much as possible about the effects of different prescription drugs, withdrawal symptoms, signs of addiction, and street names or slang which may indicate that a loved one is abusing drugs.
Alprazolam (also known by the brand name, Xanax) is often prescribed to treat stress, anxiety, panic disorders, and sometimes seizures. It is a very well-known and addictive drug. Alprazolam is in the benzodiazepine drug family, and like other benzodiazepine drugs (such as Klonopin and Valium), it is often misused and can lead to devastating substance use issues.
Xanax and Alprazolam Street Names
- Xannies (or Zannies)
- Xanbars, Handlebars, Bars, Z-bars, Totem Poles (referring to the bar shape of 2mg Xanax pills)
- Blue Footballs (referring to blue oval “football”-shaped Xanax pills of varying strengths)
- Upjohn (referring to the pharmaceutical company Upjohn, now known as Pfizer)
- Benzos (refers to the family of drugs that alprazolam belongs to—benzodiazepines)
Additional Alprazolam Street Names
- School bus
- Bicycle parts
- Yellow boys
- White boys
- White girls
Between 1996 and 2013, fatalities by benzodiazepine drugs are on a rose sharply. And, as of 2018, over 30% of overdoses that involved opioids also involved benzodiazepines.1 When used for recreational purposes, alprazolam can lead to toxic overdose and fatalities. Depending on the amount of the drug taken or if alprazolam was used in conjunction with other medications, overdose can range from mild to fatal.2
Even when alprazolam is taken as prescribed, there are risks—especially if it is taken with other prescription drugs, alcohol, or opiates. The elderly, who frequently have compromised immune systems and often take additional medication, have an increased likelihood for severe toxicity and possible fatality from these combinations.
Alprazolam overdose may include one or more of the following symptoms:
- Fatigue and sleep difficulty
- Mental confusion
- Impaired motor function
- Impaired or absent reflexes
- Muscle weakness
- Impaired balance
- Respiratory depression
“I remember how I felt the first few times I took Xanax. As a high-strung person, the temporary relaxation Xanax gave me was something I had craved my entire life.
But by my sophomore year of college, the addiction had begun taking over my life. …I thought that sobriety was not something that I could live through and that I needed drugs to survive. I’m happy to say that the worst of my cravings have subsided, and I am on track to improve my life in all aspects and have never felt better.”
— Shannon of Heroes in Recovery
Alprazolam Addiction Help
1. NIDA. (2018, March 15). Benzodiazepines and Opioids. Retrieved on March 25, 2020.
2. Bachhuber, Marcus A. et al. Increasing Benzodiazepine Prescriptions and Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1996–2013. American Journal of Public Health. 2016. 686–688.