Over 49 million Xanax prescriptions are handed out in the United States each year. While it is supposed to be used for medical purposes, some Xanax pills end up in concerts, parties, and bars. Sometimes, these pills are fake versions of Xanax. Because of this, it is important to learn how to tell the difference between real and fake Xanax.
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Xanax is the brand name version of a medication known as alprazolam. It is a type of benzodiazepine that is supposed to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression. When someone takes this medication, it relaxes their muscles and induces a sense of calm.
Xanax achieves this calming effect because it can increase levels of GABA in your brain. Normally, this neurotransmitter can decrease brain activity, and some people take Xanax recreationally to achieve the same effect. Because Xanax can be addictive, it is important to never use it for off-label purposes. If you do develop a Xanax addiction, the right rehab center can help you begin your recovery journey.
What Does Real Xanax Look Like?
Xanax is manufactured to look a specific way, so all real Xanax should look exactly the same. If you are uncertain about the origin of your Xanax, you should start by looking at the packaging and how the product is made. Xanax bars can be broken down into smaller pieces. They are typically yellow or white. Along the side of the bar, you should see the name of the medication and the dosage strength. For example, the side of the bar might say, “Xanax 1.”
For Xanax pills, the coating will be opaque. It may be peach, light blue, or white in color. Blue is the most common color for these pills. Often, these pills are oval in shape.
Unfortunately, many fake Xanax makers will try to copy the design of real Xanax. These fake pills pose a potential health risk because they could contain contaminants and other drugs. You should always get your Xanax from a reputable pharmacy or medical provider. Otherwise, it is impossible to guarantee the contents of any pill.
The Rise of Counterfeit Xanax
J.B. Hester originally applied for a German patent for alprazolam back in 1970. In the United States, the first patent for Xanax was given in 1976. Within the next two years, Xanax sales quickly skyrocketed.
Unfortunately, Xanax also grew in popularity as a recreational drug. While people are less likely to develop a Xanax addiction if they use the prescription appropriately, recreational use can cause an addiction to develop. This is especially true if someone already suffers from another kind of alcohol or drug use disorder.
While fake Xanax has been an issue for several years, it has taken on global proportions since 2018. Many overdose deaths that are related to Xanax involve counterfeit versions of Xanax. Some of these overdose victims are as young as 11 years old.
Because it can be cut with anything, counterfeit Xanax can make the user develop psychosis. Individuals may become unconscious or suicidal. In extreme cases, the individual can even die.
Unfortunately, this epidemic does not seem to be slowing down. In one court case in 2023, a Seattle man was charged with a crime because he purchased 630,000 counterfeit pills on the dark web. From 2019 to 2021, the man bought alprazolam and other drugs from China. Then, the ingredients were pressed and stamped to look like real Xanax. Ultimately, the man pled guilty to counterfeit drug charges.
Characteristics of Fake Xanax
If you frequently take Xanax, it is important to learn how to spot counterfeit pills. Fake Xanax can contain fentanyl and other dangerous drugs. While the safest option is to avoid all types of recreational drug use, being able to spot fake Xanax can remove one potential hazard.
Real Xanax comes in white or peach bars. The pills are often light blue. No matter what color the bar or pill is, the coloring should be consistent throughout the product. You should never see lines of color or missing spots of color.
When looking at a Xanax bar or pill, you should first analyze the markings. Often, drug dealers will forget to add fake pharmaceutical markings. They may also use the wrong style of marking.
On bars, the Xanax logo should have a raised appearance. If the letters are completely flat, you may be dealing with a fake. On the back, the bar should have the pill’s dosage strength.
Meanwhile, most pills will say, “Xanax” on one side. The dosage will be directly underneath the word. There are some pill types that do not have this type of design, but you can easily look up images of Xanax using a pill identifier website and find out if you are dealing with a fake or not.
One way to check the authenticity of your pills is with water. Real Xanax will quickly dissolve in water. If the medication is fake, it will take longer than a few minutes to dissolve.
Fake Xanax pills are often heavier. In comparison, the real pills are fairly light. They also tend to be a little bulky. In addition, real pills do not shatter easily when you place them under pressure.
Xanax is always labeled the same way. If any words are misspelled, it is a sign that you are dealing with a fake. In addition, there should not be any inconsistencies in the design or noticeable gaps between letters.
Health Risks of Fake Xanax
If you end up taking fake Xanax, it can lead to life-threatening complications. The type of side effects you experience will depend on what kind of drug you actually took. Because it is impossible to know what was put in a fake pill, it is important to never take any drugs that were not prescribed by a doctor.
- Dry mouth: The outer coating of fake Xanax is often made out of an artificial sweetener. Because of this, it may make your mouth and throat feel dry.
- Itching: Because fake Xanax contains other ingredients, it is more likely to cause excessive itching and other allergic reactions.
- Slow breathing: If you take an excessive amount of Xanax or other drugs, it can cause your central nervous system to slow down. Other than making you feel tired, this can also cause your respiration to decrease.
- Nausea and vomiting: When counterfeit Xanax is made out of things that irritate your digestive tract, it can lead to nausea and vomiting. A sudden drop in stomach acid levels can also cause abdominal cramps.
- Liver damage: If fake Xanax is made out of dangerous chemicals, it can lead to liver failure.
- Loss of consciousness: Some medications can cause you to lose consciousness if you use an excessive amount.
- Overdose: If fake Xanax is made from fentanyl and similar drugs, taking it can be a fatal decision. Even a small dose of fentanyl can lead to a devastating overdose. Because it is impossible to know what is in fake Xanax, medical staff members may have a harder time treating an overdose.
- Hallucinations: Some street drugs are known for causing hallucinations, and these drugs can be included in fake Xanax.
- Dosage issues: Drug dealers will sometimes buy alprazolam from overseas. While the medication may be the same as Xanax, the dosage may be incorrect. Dealers will stamp the counterfeit drugs so that they appear the same, but the amount of alprazolam can vary significantly. Because of this, it is impossible to be certain of the amount of Xanax present in any given pill.
What to Do If You Encounter Fake Xanax
If you believe that you have taken fake Xanax, it is important to call your medical provider right away. Stop taking any more pills until your medical provider has told you that it is safe to do so. Taking fake medication can cause dangerous side effects, so you should always exercise caution if you think that you have counterfeit pills.
Get Help for a Substance Use Disorder
Xanax is normally used by people who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety disorders. If it is used appropriately, it can be a safe medication. When Xanax is used as a recreational drug, it can quickly become addictive.
Xanax and other drugs can be difficult to quit on your own. If you or your loved one has an addiction to Xanax, Live Free Recovery services can help. Our treatment center offers drug detox, rehab, and therapy programs for all types of substance use disorders.
If you are ready to start your recovery, help is available. Our team of addiction specialists can help you take the first step in your long-term sobriety. To learn more about how Live Free Recovery can help, call us today.
Published on: 2024-01-27
Updated on: 2024-01-30