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xanax street names

Xanax Street Names


Benzodiazepines are a family of drugs recently introduced to humanity that help fight anxiety and panic disorders. Developed as a substitute for barbiturates, whose reputation caught leprosy in the 1960’s due to the dangers and side effects involved with the medication, they quickly rose in popularity. By the 1980’s, Benzodiazepines beat barbiturates out of the race and became the most common prescription given for anxiety disorders, seizures, and insomnia.

Benzodiazepines, also known simply as benzos, might be jargon to you. Some of the drugs within that family which might be familiar to you are Valium, Klonopin, Librium, and Ativan. The most popular benzo is Xanax. Due to its pervasiveness, we would imagine that you are familiar with the medication. If not, then buckle your seatbelt, as we are going to take a ride through the darker side of the drug.


While Benzodiazepines first began to take shape in the 1930s, it was only until the 60’s that it landed in American markets. Librium—developed by Leo Sternback of the Hoffman-LaRoche Company—was the benzo to prove to the world their effectiveness. A few years later came Alprazolam, the generic name for Xanax.

Regarded as a healthy and non-addictive substitute for pre-existing medications, the success of benzodiazepines was unparalleled at the time. They helped reduce anxiety, instate calmness, curb seizures, and mitigated the viciousness of insomnia. For some, Xanax was nothing short of a miracle. The entire healthcare industry marveled at the new anxiety curing drug and its production, distribution, and popularity skyrocketed

But by the 1980’s, healthcare professionals began to realize that perhaps benzodiazepines were marketed on false promises; not only did the drug prove to be addictive in nature, but fatal when paired with other substances (specifically alcohol). Addicts came forth in larger numbers. Overdoses rose. A drug meant to be a temporary and short-lived solution for anxiety and other issues had patients scrambling back to the doctor’s office asking not only for another prescription but for higher dosages.

Xanax, having quickly took the lead above other benzos, was among the most addictive of the family. In the beginning of the 21st century, around 1,000 to 3,000 people sought treatment for Xanax addiction. Skip a decade ahead and that number rose to around 30,000. Today, while all statistics are given in retro, professionals are speculating that number is around 40,000 to 50,000. The fact that over 50 million Xanax prescriptions are written annually here in the United States, a number that continues to climb, doesn’t help the situation.

The fact of the matter is Xanax—even in its original discovery—was never meant to be a long-term solution. Its effect on the brain, to any professional at the time, was a red flag when it came to prolonged use. What they failed to identify was the addictive properties of the drug, which would be the driving force behind its frequency, and the blade now responsible for 1/3 of overdose-related deaths. If you were unaware, pill-related overdose is now the number one killer of Americans under the age of 50.

Illicit Xanax

One of the issues prescription pill addicts (primarily opioids and benzodiazepines) face is acquiring enough of a given drug to satisfy their need. Picture this: an anxiety or non-anxiety sufferer enters a psychiatrist’s office looking for medication. Enter Xanax. Once they start down that road, eventually they will need to return for a refill.

They do so, speaking of the drug’s wonders and how their life has been positively affected by it. The psychiatrist then writes another prescription. Rinse and repeat, except the next time they’re back they do not simply want to replicate the prescription, they want a higher dosage. Depending on the psychiatrist, this could be a warning sign of Xanax addiction.

If a psychiatrist grows suspicious, however, they can deny the refill and dig further into the problem at hand. ‘Doctor hopping’ is a common method of obtaining prescription pills for addicts. They will search around until they find a new source, then try and follow the same process as before.

Two things often happen here: one, they’re flagged and two, the price of the prescriptions run there insurance down and become too expensive. Today, an entirely different demographic of drug addicts are emerging due to the phenomenon we just outlined. This demographic is Caucasian, not centered in low-income areas, and from the ages of 25-60.

Depending on the severity of the addiction, the addict will then turn to the streets in search of a source. With opioid addiction, their pursuits can turn to heroin, which we are currently witnessing as heroin abuse continues to rise (with 1/3 heroin addicts having been formerly addicted to opioids). With a benzodiazepine addiction, heroin does not provide the same high. In fact, few alternatives allow the same ‘sensation’ as benzos, in which case the only real option is to buy street Xanax.

Either it’s legally lab made and stolen, or counterfeit from an illegal pill mill. When addicts cry a call, however, drug dealers rush to meet the demand. While counterfeit Xanax is incredibly dangerous (we’ll delve more into this later), realistically it is not unreasonable to suppose there is plenty of legal, doctor-prescribed Xanax circulating the underground drug syndicates. After all, with over 50 million prescriptions written annually, that is enough for 1/6 Americans to have Xanax on hand.

Another reason addicts take to the street is its inexpensiveness. This can happen well before their doctor flags an addiction, as dependent on insurance, street-Xanax can be a hefty pleasure to the wallet. Street prices for Xanax:

A .25 mg Xanax usually goes for around 75 cents to a $1.   

A .5 mg usually goes for around $1-2 dollars

A 1mg Xanax usually goes for around $1.50-3

A 2m Xanax usually goes for around $4-5

As you can see even just by the 1mg price, in comparison to legal Xanax being over $3 per pill without insurance, it’s actually the streets that make it more affordable. We recognize this as backward, but sadly, it is the reality we currently face.

Xanax Street Names

It is paramount to know the street names of Xanax, as they are many and often intertwined with other drugs. Do note that not all of these names are exclusive to Xanax and sometimes interchangeable with other substances. The popular Xanax street names are:

  • Z Bar
  • Xannies
  • School Boys
  • School Bus
  • Footballs
  • Handlebars
  • White Boys
  • White Girls (this can also be cocaine)
  • Bicycle Parts
  • Xanbars
  • Upjohn’s (this is in reference to the pharmaceutical company originally responsible for placing Xanax in doctor’s offices)
  • Planks
  • Yellow Benzos

Many of these street names are particular to the type of Xanax as well. Lower dosage Xanax often comes an oval shape, hence the ‘football.’ Others are more rectangular, hence the ‘bar’ in many of the names. White, yellow, and salmon are the colors most often attributed to the pills (as they do come in these colors), and that is why they also slip into the street names.

The Dangers of Counterfeit Xanax

We truly hope this is not the case, but if you have landed here to identify Xanax nicknames in which you can use to obtain illicit Xanax, then know this: street Xanax has become contaminated. Without an industry-grade test kit, it is impossible to know whether or not the drug you are being sold is ‘real’ or ‘replicated.’ Pill mills are dexterous in their pursuits. They do everything they can to make the drug seem as real as possible, even to cheat the eyes of a novice addict formerly prescribed the pill in question.

In which case a fair assessment is to suppose all street Xanax is counterfeit. In which case you don’t want it anywhere near you. In recent years, the opioid (painkillers) epidemic in America has spiraled out of control. Opioids—similar to Xanax—are addictive and deadly, but take the throne over all other prescription medication. Due to the onslaught of opioid addicts, outside of heroin production (opioid addicts commonly turn to heroin), illegal drug syndicates and drug cartels have aspired to meet market demand. Not only are they mass-replicating pills but they’re making them stronger. Not just stronger but deadly.

One of their popular and downright evil opioid replications is fentanyl, a drug 100x stronger than morphine and 50x stronger than morphine. Since fentanyl requires such a low dosage to induce an enthralling, deadly, and unimaginable ‘high,’ drug dealers prefer it over other opioids and heroin because it can be shipped in smaller volumes, sold for more, and has the same effectiveness.

While it’s somewhat of a rarity that fentanyl would be sold alone, dealers like to sprinkle it into other pre-existing drugs to take a step ahead of the competition. Today, it is now commonly cut into heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, and counterfeit prescription pills… one of which being Xanax. The introduction of fentanyl in recent years has led to a serious scaling of overdoses. Perhaps what is most tragic is that many of the deceased were unaware their drugs contained such a powerful opioid, which led them to ingest their normal quantity.

When this occurs, mass overdoses often follow. When we tell you it is a serious issue, we mean to say that it is now the most feared drug in America, claiming thousands of lives every year. The reason we have sidestepped is because fentanyl is now being cut into Xanax. Earlier this year, a batch of counterfeit Xanax landed in Florida. Experienced users purchased the drug under the impression it was as it showed—Xanax—only to take a single ‘bar’ and overdose.

When we say fentanyl is powerful, we mean to say that a few micrograms are all it takes to lead to an overdose. It’s a medication that was developed for late-stage cancer patients to act as somewhat of a blanket in their numbered days. This reinforced by the fact that once the counterfeit Xanax landed in Florida, nine people died.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Florida made a statement, saying ‘people need to immediately stop buying Xanax on the street because their life depends on it. You don’t have to take a handful of them. All you gotta’ do is take one, and you’re dead.’

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Both Maryland and California have experienced deaths at the hand of counterfeit Xanax cut with fentanyl. These deaths are significantly smaller than heroin or counterfeit painkillers (as fentanyl originates from the same grandfather, opium), but they are enough to rally leaders to speak on the issue.

As fentanyl proves to be a cheaper and be a more effective alternative (as noted by the drug bust in New York City last month which seized enough fentanyl to kill 32 million people) to other drugs, drug dealers will continue to import it from Mexico and China, and then cut it into their drugs. While overdoses always hold the same air of tragedy, think on this: heroin and painkiller addicts are often mutually exclusive. This type of addiction comes with a stigma of being dirty, and the user can be seen as a “junkie.” A Xanax addiction does not have the same reputation, nor are these people striving for a similar high.

Thus, an unsuspecting addict dealing with crippling anxiety, in search of Xanax for assistance in dealing with the issue, buys counterfeit Xanax without knowing there’s fentanyl in it. There is even a possibility this Xanax addict has never taken painkillers before. They unknowingly take a pill cut with the strongest drug on the black market and overdose from nothing but ignorance.

Seek Help

There is no easy way out for a Xanax addict. The addiction works on the same pathogens as alcohol, making it nearly unbearable to curb, and the drug can be easy to keep a secret. Continuing down the pharmacy road will eventually fork into a roadblock and turning to the streets could prove lethal. If you or anyone you know is currently struggling with an addiction, seek professional help. A Xanax addiction or any other illicit drug abuse for that matter should not be taken lightly. Often recovery can only be successful at the hands of a professional.

If you are suffering at the hands of an addiction, contact our Orange County rehab facility today. Our supportive team of trained professionals will guide you through every step of your recovery.

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