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What Do Xanax Pills Look Like?

Xanax (alprazolam) is a prescription benzodiazepine drug intended for the treatment of anxiety and seizure disorders. Unfortunately, Xanax is a well-known drug of abuse due to its highly addictive qualities. Because Xanax is prescribed so often, this substance has become easy to obtain illegally. 

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “Of the 39.3 million people aged 12 or older who used tranquilizers in the past year, 29.7 million used benzodiazepine tranquilizers, including 17.6 million people who used tranquilizers that contain alprazolam.”[1]

Individuals who struggle with Xanax abuse or addiction may require professional substance abuse treatment. 

With the abuse of Xanax rising in popularity, it is important to be able to identify this drug. The problem is there has also been a recent rise in counterfeit Xanax pills which look exactly like the real thing. Counterfeit pills are far more dangerous, though. They often contain powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. 

Knowing what Xanax pills look like as well as what counterfeit ones look like can help you prevent an overdose.

Xanax

What Does Xanax Look Like?

Because Xanax is commonly sold illegally, the substance has adopted a few nicknames. On the street, Xanax is often referred to as “zannies”  or “bars.” Additionally, there are slang names specific to each type of Xanax pill. 

The most sought-after Xanax pill resembles a yellow bar with four perforated lines across it. However, several Xanax pills differ in shape, size, and color. Each pill is a different strength. 

0.25 mg Xanax

The 0.25 mg Xanax pills are white and oval-shaped. These are the lowest strength Xanax pills available. Oftentimes, these are referred to as “footballs” because of their shape. 

Usually, these pills have “XANAX 0.25” imprinted on one side. However, this may vary depending on the manufacturer. Other manufacturers may imprint “GG 256” on this type of Xanax pill. 

0.5 mg Xanax 

The 0.5 mg strength Xanax pills are usually peach-colored and oval-shaped. Because of their color, these may be referred to as “peaches” on the street. 

One side of these pills will be imprinted with “XANAX 0.5”, “GG 257”, or “R 029” depending on the manufacturer.

1 mg Xanax 

The 1 mg variation of Xanax is a blue, oval-shaped pill. These are referred to as “blue footballs” or “footballs”. This strength of Xanax is particularly strong, as doctors prescribe 0.25 and 0.5 pills to begin treatment. 

1mg Xanax pills will have “XANAX 1mg”, “R 030”, or “GG 258” imprinted on one side depending on the manufacturer. 

2 mg Xanax 

There are a wide variety of 2 mg Xanax pills. This is the most commonly sought-after type of Xanax due to its strength and dosage. On the street, these are referred to as “Xanax bars”, “bars”, or “totem poles.”

2 mg Xanax bars come in green, yellow, and white. The green Xanax bars are referred to as “hulks”, the yellows are commonly called “school buses”, and the white bars are called “white boys/girls.” 

These Xanax pills may have “XANAX” imprinted on one side with a sideways “2” on the other. Other manufacturers use the imprint “R 039”, “S 90 3”, or “GG 249” on one side of the pill. 

How Can You Identify Fake Xanax Pills?

Unfortunately, because Xanax is a popular drug of abuse, drug dealers have begun creating counterfeit Xanax pills. It is important to be able to determine the difference, as fake Xanax pills may contain life-threatening substances. 

Ways to identify a fake Xanax pill:

  • The pill has no markings 
  • The “Xanax” logo appears flat rather than three-dimensional 
  • A dark or powdery gray coating on the pill 
  • Fake pills are usually heavier than real ones (Xanax should weigh approximately 0.5 grams)
  • The letter “X” in the XANAX marking is not larger than the other letters. 
  • The pill does not dissolve in water
  • Misspelled labels 
  • Easily shattering when crushed (real Xanax is difficult to crush)

What are the Dangers of Counterfeit Xanax Pills?

The most concerning aspect of counterfeit Xanax is the likelihood of fentanyl being present in the pill. Unfortunately, Xanax is one of the most common drugs to be laced with and contain fentanyl.[2]

This is extremely dangerous, as even a small amount of fentanyl can be fatal to individuals without a tolerance. If an individual has any reason to believe that their Xanax bar is fake, they should refrain from taking it. This is why obtaining a prescription for Xanax is of the utmost importance. 

If someone consumes a fake Xanax bar, look for the following signs of a fentanyl overdose:

  • Drowsiness 
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Low blood pressure and slowed heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Limp body 
  • Pinpoint pupils 
  • Cold and clammy skin 
  • Cyanosis (blue fingernails and lips)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma 

A fentanyl overdose can be reversed with the immediate use of Naloxone. If this opioid reversal medication is not available, emergency medical services must be contacted immediately. 

Find Help for Xanax Abuse and Addiction Today

Xanax addiction is difficult to overcome, especially without professional help. The symptoms of Xanax withdrawal can become life-threatening without proper medical intervention. However, with the help of a medical detox program, individuals can easily overcome their withdrawal symptoms. 

At Mandala Healing Center, we utilize evidence-based addiction treatment methodologies to help our patients recover from Xanax addiction. Contact us today for more information on our Xanax addiction treatment program. 

References:

  1. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR2-2015/NSDUH-FFR2-2015.htm
  2. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2021-05/Counterfeit%20Pills%20fact%20SHEET-5-13-21-FINAL.pdf