Fake Xanax Bars: How To Identify Counterfeit Forms Of Xanax
Increases in counterfeit pills, including Xanax (alprazolam), are contributing to overdose deaths in the United States. Fake Xanax tablets may contain dangerous opioids, like fentanyl, which can be fatal when mixed with benzodiazepines (benzos).
If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, it’s crucial to know how to avoid fake pills.
There are several distinct markings on brand name Xanax tablets that can help you distinguish real from fake. However, the best course of action is to only take medication that comes from your prescribing doctor or pharmacy.
What Do Real Xanax Pills Look Like?
Xanax comes in several strengths as well as brand name and generic versions. The tablets come in a variety of colors and shapes with specific markings that may help you determine if it is real or counterfeit.
Brand name Xanax tablets appear as follows:
- 0.25 mg tablets are white, oval, scored, and imprinted with “XANAX 0.25”
- 0.5 mg tablets are peach, oval, scored, and imprinted with “XANAX 0.5”
- 1 mg tablets are blue, oval, scored, and imprinted with “XANAX 1.0”
- 2 mg tablets are white, oblong, scored, and imprinted with “XANAX” on one side and “2” on the other side
“Scored” means there is a groove in the surface that makes it easier to split the tablet into two or more pieces. 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, and 1 mg Xanax tablets are all scored once in the middle of the tablet. 2 mg Xanax tablets are scored three times.
Counterfeit Xanax Pills
Counterfeit drugs are sold on the street or online, through social media and dark web markets.
Along with Xanax, fake prescription medication may also look like:
- Oxycontin (oxycodone)
- Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen)
- Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
- Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine)
Drug dealers have the resources to create fake prescription pills that appear very similar to the real prescription drug. Fake Xanax bars may have similar markings, including score marks and imprinting.
However, the ingredients in fake Xanax can vary and may contain little to no Xanax. Most counterfeit drugs contain dangerous amounts of fentanyl or methamphetamine. If you are unaware of the presence of these potent drugs, you are at risk of experiencing a life-threatening overdose.
The only way to ensure you are receiving authentic Xanax is to only take medications prescribed by your doctor.
Effects Of Counterfeit Xanax
Xanax is a depressant drug that relieves symptoms of anxiety and other mental health disorders.
Side-effects of Xanax include:
- dry mouth
- slurred speech
- impaired memory
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and up to 100 times stronger than morphine. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), only 2 mg of fentanyl can cause a drug overdose death.
Side-effects of fentanyl use may include:
Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug and high doses can cause heart attack, stroke, and death.
Side-effects of methamphetamine use may include:
- increased energy
- loss of appetite
- increased breathing
- rapid heart rate
- raised blood pressure
- high body temperature
Benzodiazepines depress the central nervous system, which slows breathing and heart rate. Benzodiazepine overdoses are more likely to occur in combination with other depressant drugs, like opioids.
Mixing benzos and opioids increases the risk of respiratory depression, a major cause of opioid overdose. Fake Xanax is likely to contain dangerous amounts of fentanyl, which is responsible for about 80% of all opioid overdose deaths.
Overdose signs may include:
- shallow breathing
- pinpoint pupils
- loss of consciousness
- clammy skin
- bluish skin tone
After calling for emergency services, you can administer Narcan if you have it nearby. Although Narcan (naloxone) can reverse opioid overdose symptoms, several doses may be needed to reverse a fentanyl overdose.
Is Fake Xanax Addictive?
Benzodiazepines, opioids, and stimulants all have a high risk of dependence and addiction. Fake Xanax increases the risk of substance abuse issues because it has the potential to contain multiple addictive drugs.
Drug abuse can cause changes in the brain that make it difficult to stop without professional treatment. Addiction treatment centers use a variety of therapies and activities to help you learn to identify unhealthy behaviors associated with drug use and how to implement healthy coping skills.
For more information on drug addiction treatment and services available at Northeast Addictions Treatment Center, please contact a specialist today.
Northeast Addition Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.