An alarming number of fake Xanax pills are finding their way into unsuspecting hands. They can be found in many places, including bars, clubs, concerts, social parties, and even online. The best way to avoid this dangerous situation is to educate yourself about spotting the difference between an authentic pill and a counterfeit one. A Xanax addiction treatment program can help you break your dependence on Xanax to avoid the dangers of counterfeit Xanax.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is a brand name of alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine (benzo) used primarily for treating anxiety. Xanax is considered one of the top medications currently prescribed for anxiety relief or panic disorder. It works by increasing levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that decreases brain activity and calms the person taking it.
Authentic Xanax pills will have an even mix of colors between the outside layer and the inside layer and have a logo stamped on one side. The color should be consistent throughout with no variation. The inside of Xanax contains the chemical agent used to bind the ingredients together in one form or another. Because of this, authentic pills will feel smooth and slightly oily when rubbed between your fingers.
How to Spot Fake Xanax
Make sure you know how to spot fake Xanax pills by looking for these signs:
No Markings on the Pills
The most common way to spot a fake Xanax is by looking at the markings on the pill. Authentic Xanax should have a diamond-cut design with no other markings or numbers around it. The imprint of “XANAX” should be stamped in the center of the diamond without any protruding lines from the edges. The inside of legitimate Xanax will also have markings, which can be seen by cutting the pill open with a razor to inspect.
A Different-Looking Logo on the Pill
The logo or “Xanax” should have a three-dimensional look to it. If you flip the pill over and the letters are flat, this is usually an indication of a fake one. However, some counterfeit pills may appear differently than others, so it’s not always accurate. Look at all sides of the pill carefully.
The font used for an authentic Xanax should have smooth edges with no bumps, jagged lines, or missing letters. The inside of the logo should have a smooth gradient from dark to light as you look at it from the edge. When looking straight on, the letter “X” should be slightly wider than the other letters and have a distinct curve to it. If any parts of these characteristics do not match up or the brand is misspelled, then it is probably a fake.
Real Xanax has a slightly opaque coating that looks either white or peach. It’s not a 100% transparent color, but it should be pretty close to the same shade as the pill itself. If you notice anything darker or lighter than your pill, this is usually an indicator of a fake. These fake Xanax pills typically have a coat that is a very dark, powdery gray.
When comparing two Xanax pills, you may have a fake pill if one feels noticeably heavier than the other. Authentic Xanax weighs approximately 0.5 grams. They should be slightly difficult to hold between your fingers because of their solid form, but not overly heavy or bulky.
Doesn’t Dissolve in Water
One of the obvious signs of a fake Xanax pill is if it doesn’t dissolve in water after a few minutes. Authentic Xanax will begin to dissolve almost immediately, thanks to its solid form. If you see that it’s still intact or only partially dissolved, this is usually due to one of two reasons: either the pill is not pure alprazolam, or it’s not an authentic Xanax, to begin with.
Fake Xanax Shatters When Crushed Under Pressure
It should take a significant amount of pressure to crush through the exterior layer of an authentic Xanax pill. The interior layer will be softer and easier to break if you’re attempting to grind it up, but it too should require some force. If you put your pill on a flat surface and press down with your finger, it should not shatter into pieces. After doing this, if you see any shards of it or feel a chalky residue on your fingers, you probably have a fake Xanax pill.
Incorrect Bottle Shapes or Dimensions
Different manufacturers of generic Xanax use slightly different shapes and sizes for their pill bottles. If the bottle has a significantly different shape from others that you’ve seen, it might be a sign of a fake. The bottle should also have a label that looks consistent with other authentic bottles of the same brand. If the title seems off or different from what you’ve seen before, then there is a good chance this is a counterfeit pill. Be sure to pay attention to details like the size of the screw on the top, the color of the plastic, and other slight differences. You don’t necessarily need an authentic bottle to compare it to, though, since it’s not uncommon for legitimate companies to slightly alter their products’ appearance every few years.
Dangers of Fake Xanax
The dangers of taking counterfeit Xanax are similar to those associated with purchasing prescription medication off the street. In the drug’s most common forms, you don’t know what other ingredients are included or if it’s safe for human consumption. Fake Xanax, in particular, is most likely going to contain a dangerous chemical agent that could cause serious side effects, and there is always a chance of overdosing due to its potency. Below are more dangers of taking fake Xanax.
- Excessive itching – Fake Xanax is likely to contain an ingredient that causes your skin to itch. If you take this medicine in high enough quantities, it could result in swelling and infection because of the scratch marks on your body.
- Flushed skin – You may experience flushing of the skin shortly after taking fake Xanax. This is caused by an excessive release of histamine, making you look pale and feel warm because there isn’t enough blood in your veins to circulate oxygen properly.
- Dry mouth – If you find yourself constantly thirsty after taking Xanax, it may be because of an artificial sweetener used in place of the sugar coating. Fake Xanax often contains ingredients like dextrose and fructose, which can cause your mouth to become parched.
- Increased risk of internal infection – If you are already at risk of getting infections, this is a severe threat. The manufacturer of fake Xanax may use ingredients that are toxic to humans and irritate the digestive tract.
- Liver damage – Fake Xanax could cause permanent damage to your liver because it contains dangerous chemicals that are not intended for human consumption.
- Slow breathing – Taking too much fake Xanax may make it hard to breathe. This is because the drug’s main ingredient works by slowing down the central nervous system and causing you to become drowsy.
- Constricted pupils – If you find that the pupils of your eyes are often constricted when taking Xanax, then it could be because of an ingredient used by manufacturers, which could damage the optic nerve and make it more difficult for your eyes to adjust to changing light conditions.
- Fainting – If you have a heart condition or are taking prescription medications that regulate your heartbeat, then fake Xanax could cause you to faint. Taking too much of this medication puts more stress on your cardiovascular system, which could lead to an increased risk of stroke or even death if not remedied quickly.
- Nausea and vomiting – You may begin to feel nauseous or vomit shortly after taking fake Xanax. This is bad because it means that the ingredients are causing irritation of the digestive tract and could lead to serious health problems. If you can’t keep food down, take this as a sign that you need to stop taking fake Xanax immediately.
- Stomach cramps – A rapid decrease in stomach acid levels is a side effect that may occur with this medication. In some cases, the decrease will be long-term and almost permanent for those using it as a daily treatment option, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Finding addiction treatment can help you avoid the dangerous consequences of counterfeit Xanax.
Turn to Our Xanax Addiction Treatment Center for Help
Xanax is a powerful drug that can be highly addictive. If you’re worried about someone you know abusing Xanax, there are ways to spot the signs of addiction and abuse. Reach out to BlueCrest Recovery Center by calling 888.292.9652 for help today. Our team will offer guidance on how to overcome addiction so that your loved one can get back on track in their life.