Hooked on Bars: What to Know Before You Get Xanned Out

xanax addiction

We can’t ignore the fact that there’s a huge benzodiazepine problem happening concurrent with the opioid and methamphetamine epidemic. Currently being called a “syndemic,” the drug problem in the U.S. is a major societal issue, unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Our culture and it’s people sit back and numb their problems away by taking fistfuls of pills, heroin, meth, weed, alcohol, and literally anything else we can get our hands on. If it promises to handle the pain and take the edge off, we want it. Lately, and by lately, I mean over the last decade, Xanax abuse has skyrocketed, and more and more kids are popping “Xannys” than ever before. The millennial generation is completely infused with Xanax references and is almost trying to normalize taking massive quantities of the anti-anxiety medication. Popular songs by young, white, skinny rappers covered in face tattoos completely glorify getting “Xanned out.” They come with names like “Lil’ Xan” and honestly, it’s completely ridiculous. It’s a whole new breed of drug addict and what these kids don’t understand is that even though Xanax is a legal medication prescribed by doctors, when it’s abused it’s one of the most dangerous drugs out there.

Xanax is addictive, plain and simple. It’s part of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, otherwise known as sedatives or tranquilizers. Xanax works on the central nervous system and enhances the activity of an inhibitory neurochemical called GABA, which slows the system down and can create a calming, destimulating effect. Because of its sedating qualities, addicts will commonly mix Xanax with alcohol and painkillers in order to enhance their intoxicating effects.

Xanax is often referred to as “bars” or “Xanny bars” because the highest, single dose of Xanax comes in 2mg tablets that are long and rectangular and have 3 division lines on them, so they can be broken into smaller doses if desired. “Bars” are also the most common Xanax pills you’ll come across on the street.

barred out

I can tell you from personal experience that the one time I mixed Xanax and alcohol, I failed to remember the following 24 hours. People often blackout when they mix Xanax with alcohol. They may seem alert and awake, but their memory is essentially turned off. I woke up at home the next day with no recollection of what had happened the day before or how I got home, but I obviously drove because my car was outside. A lot of the time, mixing Xanax with alcohol can cause aggression and severe intoxication to the point where a person gets themselves arrested and they “come to” in jail with no idea how they got there.

Side Effects of Xanax

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Increased saliva production
  • Decreased sexual ability
  • Hallucinations
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Memory problems

The most severe side-effect of all, in my opinion, is the physical addiction that happens when you take Xanax regularly. I want everyone reading this to completely understand the following:


If you do, you risk having a major grand-mal seizure. That’s one of the main withdrawal effects from taking Xanax, especially if you mix it with alcohol.

Xanax is no joke. It’s not a “light” drug. In fact, it’s one of the most hardcore ones out there. In our current society, drug addiction is so prevalent that almost everyone is touched by it in some way. Look at all the celebrities that are having problems and even dying; Demi Lovato, Prince, Tom Petty, Lil’ Peep, the list goes on and on.

Think twice before getting “Xanned out.” You might be jumping down a rabbit hole you can’t get out of.

If you’ve found yourself habitually taking Xanax with or without alcohol, you need to find a comprehensive drug rehab program that can help you safely detox and get treatment for Xanax addiction.

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Peggy Cote, RN

Peggy Cote is a registered nurse with over 40 years of experience in the medical and addiction field. Her practice has also focused on holistic and naturopathic healthcare, looking toward natural solutions first before allopathic interventions. Peggy has devoted her career to helping people better themselves, their health, and their lives. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn.