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  • Fake Xanax (Alprazolam) | How To Spot Fake Xanax

    woman holding real xanax or fake xanax pills

    Alprazolam, brand name Xanax, is a prescription drug that can treat anxiety and panic. Many people abuse benzodiazepines to feel euphoric or “high.” That’s why the medication often appears on the black market.

    According to law enforcement officials, not all Xanax sold by drug dealers is genuine. Instead, some dealers sell fake pills that pose a variety of serious health risks. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to identify fake Xanax from real Xanax.

    How To Identify Fake Xanax

    Many counterfeit drugs look almost exactly like the real thing. To identify a fake pill, compare it to an authentic pill (or at least a picture of one). 

    Authentic Xanax pills are either rectangular, round, or oval-shaped. The rectangular pills are white, blue, green, or yellow. If you find one in another color, it’s probably a fake.

    comparing fake Xanax pills to real or authentic xanax pills

    Round and oval-shaped Xanax pills come in a wide variety of colors, including but not limited to white, peach, orange, purple, and blue. This means it can be harder to identify fake ones. 

    However, you can look for other signs of counterfeit pills, such as:

    • an uneven appearance
    • rough edges
    • a faded logo

    To stay safe, assume that any Xanax pill you didn’t get from a licensed pharmacy is a fake.

    Dangers Of Fake Xanax

    The most common hazards of fake Xanax pills are:

    Germs & Bacteria

    To make counterfeit Xanax pills, most dealers order alprazolam powder from other countries and press the powder into tablets using a mechanical device called a pill press. 

    Since the pills are created in unregulated environments with unregulated machinery, they often contain germs, bacteria, and other contaminants. 

    Higher Doses

    Fake Xanax pills may contain doses that the buyer doesn’t expect. For example, a typical rectangular Xanax pill (also called a “Xanax bar”) contains 2 milligrams of alprazolam. A fake Xanax bar could contain a much higher dose, putting the buyer at serious risk of overdose.

    Dangerous Ingredients

    Some dealers cut Xanax pills with dangerous substances, including a potent synthetic opioid called fentanyl

    According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), fentanyl is about 100 times more powerful than morphine. If someone unknowingly uses fentanyl-laced Xanax, they may experience an opioid overdose, which can be fatal. 

    If you or someone you love struggles with Xanax abuse or addiction, please reach out to an Ark Behavioral Health specialist to learn about our comprehensive treatment options.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Australian Government Department of Health: Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) - How to Spot a Counterfeit Medicine
    CBS News - Fake Xanax Can Be a Killer
    U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration - Fentanyl
    U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Alprazolam

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on January 19, 2023
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