Xanax Street Names and Slang

When people who use drugs purchase substances illegally, they may refer to the drugs they are buying by their street names, nicknames, or slang terms. They do this to try and fly under the radar when buying or selling drugs and when communicating with drug dealers. Nicknames and slang terms aren’t always known by parents or non-drug users, either, so messages and conversations can easily go undetected.

Xanax (alprazolam) is one frequently abused medication that is known by many street names, slang terms, and nicknames. While the medication is safe and effective when used as directed, it can be highly addictive and dangerous when abused by people who aren’t taking it medicinally. In fact, many illicit Xanax pills are counterfeit and contain extremely powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

According to the FDA, these fake prescription pills have contributed to a recent wave of fatal drug overdoses.[1]

Despite containing synthetic opioids, these counterfeit pills look like the real thing and are being sold as such. Knowing the street names for Xanax can help you identify whether a loved one is abusing these drugs, struggling with addiction, or putting their life at risk.

What is Xanax (Alprazolam)?

Xanax (alprazolam) is a brand-name prescription medication that is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders as well as some types of seizures. It is typically intended for short-term use due to how habit-forming the drug can be. The medication belongs to the benzodiazepine drug class.

Alprazolam enhances the effects of GABA in the body, a neurotransmitter that regulates the central nervous system. By acting on this chemical, the medication is able to produce a calming, relaxing effect.

Xanax can be a highly effective medication, but it can also cause memory problems, poor judgment, and lack of coordination. When combined with other substances such as alcohol or opioids, it can slow down breathing and respiration and possibly lead to a deadly overdose.[2]

Xanax Pill Appearance

Xanax pills come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. They also have unique imprints to indicate the type of medication and the dose. Some Xanax street names are based on how the pill looks or what dose of alprazolam the pill contains, however, generic pills may vary in their appearance.

Brand-name Xanax pills include:

  • 0.25 mg tablet that is white, oval, and marked with “XANAX 0.25” on one side
  • 0.50 mg tablet that is peach in color, oblong-shaped, and marked with “XANAX 0.5” on one side
  • 1 mg tablet that is blue, oblong, and marked “XANAX 1.0” on one side
  • 2 mg tablet that comes in three colors (white, yellow, or green), is a long, skinny rectangle scored with three lines on one side and marked “XANAX” on the other side

Generic alprazolam is manufactured by nearly a dozen pharmaceutical companies and there are nearly 50 different pills, each with its own unique look.

Xanax Street Names Based on Appearance

Many slang terms for Xanax are nicknamed after the way the pills look.

  • 0.50 mg Xanax pills are often called “peaches” because of the peach color of the pill.
  • 1 mg Xanax pills are sometimes called “footballs” or “blue footballs” because they are blue and shaped like a football.
  • 2 mg Xanax pills have many names, including:
    • Bars
    • School bus
    • Yellow boys
    • Totem poles
    • Planks
    • Hulks
    • Ladders
    • Sticks
  • 0.25 mg Xanax are sometimes called “white boys” or “white girls” because they are small and white.

Xanax Slang Terms Based on The Medication Name

Other nicknames used when buying and selling Xanax are inspired by the name “Xanax” itself. These include:

  • Xannies
  • Zannies
  • Xanbars
  • Zans
  • Z-bars
  • Lil Zan
  • Zanzibar
  • Zulu
  • Xylophone
  • UpJohn (a nickname referring to the pharmaceutical company Upjohn which is now known as Pfizer)

Other Xanax Street Names

There are many slang terms used for Xanax, and the list grows every day. Other street names include:

  • Benzos
  • Bicycle parts
  • Handlebars
  • Chill pills
  • Downers
  • Nerve pills
  • Tranks

Xanax Abuse and Overdose

Xanax is the most widely abused benzodiazepine. It is also more toxic and more likely to be associated with overdose fatalities than other benzodiazepines.[3] Mixing Xanax with other substances, such as alcohol or opioids, is common among benzo users, however, doing so can substantially increase the risk for overdose and adverse events.

Symptoms of alprazolam overdose include:

  • Fatigue
  • Mental confusion
  • Impaired motor function
  • Impaired reflexes
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired balance
  • Fainting
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Blue colored lips or fingertips
  • Death

If medical attention is received immediately, flumazenil can be used to help reverse the effects of an overdose. After an overdose, patients should be monitored closely by emergency medical professionals for several hours or days.

Help for Xanax Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one are struggling with Xanax addiction, you are not alone. There are entire communities of people just like you who have struggled with addiction and found a way out–and they are ready to help show you the way.

At Addiction Intervention, we can help you or a loved one with intervention services, treatment referrals, insurance verification, and rehab admissions. Our expert team of addiction specialists is available 24/7 to help you begin your recovery journey. Don’t wait any longer. Call now to get started.


  1. https://www.dea.gov/onepill
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a684001.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6007645/

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