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White Xanax Bars: Identifying & Understanding Addiction Potential

Xanax does come in the form of a white bar, although one needs to be wary of any pill purchased on the black market as counterfeit pills are very common. A legitimate Xanax pill of this kind will contain 2 mg of alprazolam, which is a relatively high dose but has legitimate medicinal uses. 

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Because alprazolam can be addictive, these pills should only ever be taken as prescribed by a doctor.

Are White Xanax Bars Real?

White Xanax bars are real. Xanax comes in several forms, including a bar-shaped pill that is split into four sections. This particular pill is labeled “XANAX” on one side and “2” on the other. The “2” represents its strength. White Xanax bars contain 2 mg of alprazolam.[1]

Discussed in more detail in the final section, it’s important to note that none of these details mean a specific pill is definitely real. Counterfeit pills are quite common on the black market. Just because a pill looks like a white Xanax bar doesn’t mean it actually is. Typically, you can only safely assume a pill is real if it was obtained from a reputable pharmacy. 

How Is White Xanax Different From Other Types of Xanax?

White Xanax bars are the highest strength Xanax available, containing 2 mg of alprazolam. There is a smaller oval-shaped Xanax that is also white and contains 0.25 mg of alprazolam. This second kind of white Xanax is the lowest strength Xanax comes in.[1]

Two other types of Xanax exist as well. There is a blue oval-shaped Xanax that contains 1 mg of alprazolam. Finally, there is an orange oval-shaped pill that contains 0.5 mg of alprazolam.[1] 

It’s also worth mentioning that Xanax is a brand name. Other alprazolam medications are available in similar dosages, with the colors and shapes of pills potentially varying. One of the most well-known examples is a bar-shaped blue pill. This 2 mg strength pill is commonly referred to as blue Xanax on the street, despite not actually being of that brand.

How Do White Xanax Bars Impact the Mind & Body?

The only thing relatively unique about white Xanax bars is their strength. Otherwise, these pills will only affect a user the way alprazolam, the active ingredient in Xanax, generally would. If you took an equivalent dose of different alprazolam pills (such as two 1 mg Xanax), the effect would be more or less identical to taking one of these white bars. 

Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine. By decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain, this class of drug can be used to help treat anxiety and panic disorders. 

Alprazolam is associated with the following side effects:[2]

  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sex drive or ability
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Increased salivation
  • Irritability
  • Joint pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Talkativeness
  • Tiredness
  • Weight changes

These side effects can be worse if one misuses the medication. In some cases, the side effects from using alprazolam can be severe enough to be considered a medical emergency. If a user experiences any of the following symptoms, call 911:[2]

  • Confusion
  • Problems with coordination or balance
  • Problems with speech
  • Seizures
  • Severe skin rash
  • Shortness of breath
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

Are White Xanax Bars More Addictive?

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs associated with causing physical dependence and with significant abuse and addiction potential if misused. For this reason, these drugs have legitimate medical uses but should only ever be used as prescribed. If a person struggles to use them as prescribed, addiction treatment is likely warranted.

Beyond the strength of a white bar of Xanax, nothing makes it uniquely addictive. However, these bars are the strongest type of Xanax available. They’re two times as strong as the next highest strength Xanax. 

It should also be said that not everything about alprazolam is understood. While we know it causes dependence and can lead to addiction, the actual neural basis for what can lead one to become addicted isn’t known. Research has suggested, however, that the drug’s addictive nature is likely linked to benzodiazepines causing an increased firing of dopamine neurons and a variety of related effects.[3]

Dangers of Counterfeit White Xanax Bars

When acquired from a reputable pharmacy, a white Xanax bar actually is Xanax. However, many pills purchased on the black market that look legitimate are actually counterfeit.

Illegal drug distributors can print and dye a pill more or less any way they want. Because their business is already illegal, there’s no real reason they shouldn’t try to mimic whatever shape and color they think customers are looking for. If white Xanax bars are in demand, they may sell pills that are white and labeled “XANAX” regardless of who produced the pill or what it actually contains.

Counterfeit pills are often cut with substances to make them more profitable. These agents may make a pill more toxic, or it may just contain inert, useless materials that reduce the drug’s potency. 

Counterfeit drugs can also be laced with powerful opioids like fentanyl, which criminals often use because it is cheap and causes a potent high, while also making a drug more addictive. Plenty of people have purchased white Xanax bars on the street, only to later overdose because the drug didn’t actually contain what it was purported to be.

Updated March 21, 2024
  1. Xanax pill images.  Accessed February 22, 2024.
  2. Alprazolam. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Published May 15, 2021. Accessed February 22, 2024.
  3. Tan KR, Brown M, Labouèbe G, et al. Neural bases for addictive properties of benzodiazepines. Nature. 2010;463(7282):769-774.
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