Popular Street Names for Xanax (Alprazolam)

pile of Xanax bought on the street

Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine prescribed to treat anxiety and seizure disorders. It is the most prescribed psychoactive drug in America, but it is also the second-most commonly abused medication that leads to emergency room visits. It is often bought and sold on the streets by different names. One of the most common Xanax street names is “Xannies” or “Zannies.”

However, when a drug is abused, it doesn’t matter what people call it. Drug abuse is dangerous and puts people’s lives at risk. Xanax abuse occurs any time a person takes the medication either without a prescription or differently than is instructed on the label. Even if a doctor gives you a prescription, if you take it in larger doses or more frequently that you’re supposed to, you are abusing the drug. If you or someone you know is abusing Xanax, whether by prescription or from the streets, it may be time to seek help from a behavioral health treatment provider.

What is Xanax (Alprazolam)?

Function of Xanax

Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine medication that acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to produce relaxing and calming effects. It is commonly sold in the United States under the brand name, Xanax, which is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, but Xanax has many street names, as well. In some cases, the medication is used to treat seizures, depression, alcohol withdrawal, or insomnia.[1] The medication works by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA in the brain) – a chemical that produces calming side effects and helps mediate anxiety.

Other benzodiazepine medications that work similarly to Xanax are:

  • Ativan (Lorazepam)
  • Valium (Diazepam)
  • Klonopin (Clonazepam)

As CNS depressants, many people abuse benzodiazepines like Xanax in order to achieve a high. Long term substance abuse can lead to , overdose, and other health problems. In addition, long-term abuse can lead to physical dependency, so users who are addicted to Xanax will experience painful and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug cold-turkey.


Understanding Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Since Xanax is such a commonly prescribed medication, you may wonder why people turn to the streets to buy it illegally. Well, Xanax abuse often leads to addiction, so if a person is abusing their prescription, they may run out of pills early and need more before their next refill. As a result, individuals may look to purchase the drug on the streets. Alternate names are given to drugs like Xanax when they are sold illegally as such.

When abused, Xanax can be habit-forming quickly and individuals may develop a physical dependence in as little as two weeks. In addition, they will develop a tolerance where hey must take increasingly large doses in order to achieve a high. Ultimately, some users may find themselves taking the drug upwards of 5 times a day or taking 15-25 pills each day just to maintain their habit.

Popular Xanax Street Names

Oftentimes, the street names for Xanax are given based on the shape or color of the pills. For example, some Xanax pills are white while others are yellow, peach, blue, or green.  For example, “footballs” are a term referring to blue, oval-football-shaped Xanax pills.

Some common street names or slang terms used for Xanax are:

  • Xannies or Zannies
  • Z-bars
  • Bars
  • Handlebars
  • School bus (this term often refers specifically to 2.0 mg yellow Xanax bars)
  • Peaches (this street name refers specifically to 0.5 mg peach-colored Xanax pills)
  • Footballs (refers specifically to 1.0 mg, blue oval-shaped Xanax pills)
  • White girls/white boys (refers specifically to 0.25 mg white oval-shaped Xanax pills)
  • Yellow boys/white boys
  • Bicycle parts
  • Upjohn’s (refers to the pharmaceutical company name)
  • Totem poles

When sold on the street, different Xanax pills will cost different prices. The average price of illegally purchased Xanax are as follows:

  • 0.25 mg – $0.50-1
  • 0.5 mg – $1-3
  • 1.0 mg – $2-4
  • 2.0 mg – $4-6

The prices may also depend on location and availability. The street name used to identify Xanax typically does not indicate cost, unless a person is referring to a specific pill, using terms like “peaches,” “footballs,” or “school busses.”

Purchasing Xanax on the streets is extremely dangerous as there is no way to guarantee what you are getting. In fact, experts have reported that in recent years, the number of fake Xanax pills and other counterfeit medications has skyrocketed.[2] Fake Xanax pills may look the same on the outside, but they may be laced with other, more dangerous substances like Fentanyl.

Xanax Overdose Symptoms

The risk of Xanax overdose increases when the medication is purchased on the streets and used for recreational purposes. In fact, Xanax is known to be far more toxic and fatal than other benzodiazepines. or alcohol further increases the risk of overdose.

Signs and symptoms of Xanax overdose are:[3]

  • Mental confusion
  • Poor coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Uncontrollable muscle movements
  • Tremors
  • Slow reflexes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hallucinations
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

If you suspect someone is overdosing on prescription or street Xanax, you need to contact emergency medical personnel immediately.

Find Help for Xanax Addiction Today

If you or someone you know is struggling with an , help is available. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been abusing Xanax or how far you’ve progressed in your addiction – it isn’t too late to pick up the phone and get help. Contact us today to learn more about the recovery process and to find an addiction treatment program near you.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/106002808101500901
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846112/

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.