The Dangers of Counterfeit Pressed Xanax Bars Circulating the U.S.

Fake Xanax Pills Could Cause Death

Prescription Xanax is commonly used as a method of anxiety treatment. Law enforcement officials say Xanax is also one of the most commonly abused prescriptions for those who struggle with addiction. Fake Xanax bars first entered the market in 2015. These knockoff pharmaceuticals aren’t just illegal, they’re deadly. Counterfeit drugs increase the serious risks of addiction and those recovering from other medical challenges.

Xanax Abuse

Xanax abuse can be deadly on its own. Xanax is a tranquilizer often prescribed for conditions like anxiety and insomnia. It works on the central nervous system to produce sedation. 

People often start using Xanax because they’re stressed or can’t sleep. Before long and unknowingly, they find themselves trapped in a cycle of addiction. When they try to stop Xanax use, withdrawal can cause racing thoughts, feelings of panic and an inability to sleep. The drug withdrawal process provokes the very symptoms they were taking it to treat. As a method to seek relief, addiction sufferers often end up compounding the problem by taking more Xanax to reduce their symptoms.

Xanax is especially deadly when mixed with alcohol because, like Xanax, alcohol is a depressant. Taking the two depressants together can lead to hospitalization and death.

Real or Fake?

Real or Fake?Counterfeit Xanax can be hard to spot. The generic drug Alprazolam is contained in Xanax branded tablets and produced by multiple companies. Such variations of the drug come in different shapes and colors and have different numbers imprinted on them.

For example, Xanax 1.0 is a blue oval. A half milligram dose is packaged in an orange oval shape. A two mg. dose comes in a white rectangle. The generic form is manufactured in similar colors and shapes.

Here’s how distinguishing between real or fake Xanax can be misleading. Counterfeit Xanax is often made through illegal pill press techniques, and may even be found with the same brand name stamp and indentions as found on the prescription.

Fake Xanax might have some of the following qualities:

  • Different taste than real Xanax
  • Dosages are discolored or thicker than prescription pills
  • Rectangular pills only break into three parts instead of four
  • Asymmetrical in shape
  • Chalky odor, indicating filler is present

What Happens if You Take Counterfeit Xanax?

Nine people recently died in Florida after taking fake Xanax pills. These people thought they were buying a super pill, an especially potent dose of the medication they were used to taking but received something deadly instead.

Illegal drug manufacturers add fillers to Xanax in order to offer the product at lower prices. Fentanyl, for example, is a sedative that can be made in a lab. It’s cheap and easy to obtain, so mixing it with other active ingredients improves profit for its manufacturers and dealers.

Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than morphine. It’s prescribed for people who have lived with chronic pain for so long they have developed a tolerance for regular painkillers. Unfortunately, it only takes one pill to cause an overdose. Fentanyl-laced Xanax pills have been found in at least 21 other states, indicating a problem across the nation. Fentanyl can cause nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, suppression of breathing and other dangerous side effects.

The San Francisco Health Department also released information on four people who recently took fake Xanax. They experienced nerve damage, muscle breakdown, kidney damage and fluid in the lungs. One individual never made it to the hospital.

Avoid Fake Xanax Pills

Don’t risk taking any drug not prescribed by your own doctor or taken in a way that goes against the prescription’s instructions. If you or a family member are showing signs of Xanax addiction, recovery is possible. The Treatment Center offers patients and their families a variety of addiction rehab programs that are insurance friendly, restoring hope through lifelong recovery. If you have more questions about our recovery options contact us today. 

Read more about State by State Drug Trends in our recent research page.