Xanax is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety, but many people abuse it or use it recreationally. Prescription drugs like Xanax can be just as addictive and dangerous as illicit drugs if people misuse them.
In recent years, increasing numbers of fake Xanax pills have found their way into people’s hands. People may encounter fake Xanax at parties and social events or may buy these imposter drugs online.
If you use Xanax recreationally, you must learn how to identify fake Xanax pills. The surest way to avoid the risks associated with using fake Xanax is to stop taking it altogether. This can be challenging if you’ve developed Xanax addiction, and you may require comprehensive professional treatment to stop using it.
Reach out to the team of specialists at New Jersey Addiction Interventions now to learn about our supportive, holistic substance use disorder treatment programs or for guidance during any stage of your recovery.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is the brand name for a benzodiazepine drug called alprazolam. Doctors sometimes prescribe Xanax to help people manage their anxiety or reduce the symptoms of panic disorder.
Xanax works by increasing the amount of GABA in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that slows activity in the central nervous system (CNS), which produces a feeling of calm and relaxation in people who take it.
The Risks of Using Fake Xanax
Fake Xanax pills can be very dangerous. It’s impossible to know what ingredients are in the pill–or if it’s even safe for human use. Many fake Xanax pills contain hazardous chemicals that can cause severe complications. Some even contain fentanyl, an opioid that can be lethal even in small doses.
Some of the risks of taking fake Xanax include:
- Itching, flushing, and swelling on the skin
- Dry mouth
- Internal infection
- Liver damage
- Depressed (slow) breathing
- Constricted pupils
- Optic nerve damage
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramping
If you experience adverse side effects after taking fake Xanax, seek immediate medical attention.
How to Spot Fake Xanax Pills
If you use Xanax, knowing what an authentic Xanax pill looks like is critical. Genuine Xanax pills are uniformly colored inside and out and have a logo stamped on one side. The pill’s color should be even, with no gradients or variations throughout.
Real Xanax pills contain a chemical that binds its ingredients together. If you rub the pill between your fingers, you’ll find that it is smooth and may feel slightly oily.
Fake Xanax pills may sometimes look authentic at first glance, but almost always have details that make them stand out as fakes. Here are some of the things that can let you know you’ve got fake Xanax.
There are no markings on the pill
Fake Xanax pills do not have the same markings as authentic ones. Real Xanax pills have a diamond-cut design imprinted with “Xanax” in the middle on one side. The imprint must look clear and clean, and there should be no other markings on the pill.
Other logos or markings
A real Xanax pill’s logo will look high-quality and three-dimensional. Flat markings, misspelled logos, jagged lines, or other signs of low quality indicate your Xanax pill is fake.
Real Xanax is white or peach-colored with an opaque coating. The coating and inside of the pill should be nearly the same color. Fake Xanax often has a dark gray coating or inconsistent coloring throughout the pill.
Won’t dissolve in water
Authentic Xanax dissolves quickly in water. Fake Xanax, on the other hand, will either dissolve slowly or inconsistently or won’t dissolve at all. Failure to dissolve in water is a clear sign of fake Xanax and most likely indicates the pill is not made from pure alprazolam–or that it contains none of this active ingredient.
Shatters under pressure
Fake Xanax shatters easily with very little pressure. You can test your Xanax pills for authenticity by setting a pill on a flat surface and applying pressure with one finger. If the pill breaks easily or produces a chalky residue, it is fake Xanax.
Real Xanax is created in a highly regulated process under careful supervision. Each pill is carefully crafted to be identical in size, shape, and weight to every other pill produced. Fake Xanax is not regulated and may differ in weight from one pill to the next. To determine if you’re dealing with counterfeit Xanax, compare the weight of multiple pills. You may feel a noticeable difference in weight between the pills. This is a clear indication of fake Xanax pills.
Drug manufacturers may use different types of pill bottles for generic Xanax pills. But if you notice that a new pill bottle looks very different from others you’ve had, be on the alert for fake Xanax pills. Pay attention to the size, shape, and general appearance of the bottle. Does the logo look different? Is it a different color? A different bottle can indicate that the Xanax inside is not authentic.
Fake Xanax pills have flooded the market, and it’s important to know what to look for so that you can identify and avoid them. If you use Xanax without a prescription, the only guaranteed method of avoiding fake Xanax is to stop using it,
If it is challenging to stop using Xanax, seek professional substance use disorder treatment as soon as possible for support.
Find Help For Xanax Abuse or Addiction
If you or someone you love struggles with Xanax abuse or addiction, you are not alone. Reach out to the caring professionals at New Jersey Addiction Interventions to explore our comprehensive addiction treatment programs or schedule an intake assessment.
Medically Reviewed: November 13, 2023
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.