People who take Xanax and want more than what is prescribed by their doctors can usually find what they want on the “darknet” from nefarious pharmacies or on the streets. However, there is danger in buying popular benzodiazepines from unknown sources.
There have been numerous reports of alprazolam (brand name Xanax) being made illegally in pill presses. This process entails mixing or “cutting” the drug with other dangerous drugs, like fentanyl or an opioid. When an individual takes a fake Xanax pill, they are taking chances that the pill is truly alprazolam. If not, the results can be fatal.
Law enforcement agencies in North America have been warning the public about the dangers of Xanax since 2017. From Canada to Florida, those who risk buying Xanax from spurious sources risk their lives. Overseas, Great Britain and Scotland have also been hit hard by fake Xanax deaths.
Often called the “super pill,” the fake pill looks almost like the real Xanax pill. Both are rectangular in shape and called a “bar.” Fake pills will have a somewhat uneven appearance. They can be thinner than the real pill, and the number on it will be stamped versus imprinted.
Street drugs are often laced with hazardous substances, such as ammonia, formaldehyde, and rat poison. They can also be cut with more dangerously potent drugs like fentanyl. When someone buys fake prescription drugs from unreliable sources, they put their lives on the line.
How are the fake Xanax pills made? Usually, with a pill press bought online.
Read more about pill pressing and how it is tied to fake Xanax.
What Are Pill Presses, And How Are They Used?
A pill press is a type of equipment that is used to press powder and a binding agent into pill form. They can be small enough to hold in hand or as large as a vending machine and can be found online in a range of price points.
They are often used in the distribution of fake prescription drugs. Sometimes, they are called tables presses. As described in this press release, the pill press requires a set of die molds that are used to “stamp” numbers on the fake prescription pills.
Real alprazolam pills come in different strengths from .25 mg (milligrams) to 2 mg. The different manufacturers use different pill shapes, and colors can be white, orange, pink, green, peach, and yellow.
The information gained from a report by several organizations states that it is not illegal to own a pill pressing machine, but it becomes illegal when a counterfeit pill mold is added. To get around that, those who sell the folds are usually from a different continent, and sell the molds separately labeled as “spare equipment parts.”
The Dangers Of Xanax
What Is Prescription Xanax?
Xanax (generic name alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine that is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, anxiety caused by depression, and various phobias. According to MedicineNet, alprazolam affects gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.
GABA is a chemical that nerve cells use to communicate with each other that inhibits activity in the brain. People who have anxiety are thought to have excessive activity in the brain. Xanax slows that activity down.
Xanax and its generic counterparts come in either tablet form or an extended-release capsule. It is a fast-acting drug that is usually widely prescribed and widely abused due to its fast action. It starts working to calm brain activity within 20 minutes to an hour. This also makes it very addictive.
People who take Xanax on a long-term basis can develop a tolerance for the drug. When this occurs, these people may take more of the drug to feel the same calming effects are of the initial dose.
The more Xanax someone takes, the more likely they are to become dependent on it and soon become addicted to it. Once addiction starts, it is possible the individual would seek the drug from sources outside of a licensed medical professional.
Xanax obtained from outside buyers is risky as it could be laced with fentanyl, which is a deadly combination.
Fentanyl – A Cheap, Easy Filler
Fentanyl is a potent, synthetic opioid. It is a narcotic drug prescribed to treat pain in cancer patients and sometimes combat wounded soldiers in the field. It is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin, says the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Drug dealers usually mix fentanyl in heroin batches to make more without the expense. An amount as small as a pencil eraser is enough to kill someone.
The drug is so dangerous that the DEA released a warning in June 2016 to advise all law enforcement officials to take protective precautions when handling it.
The combination of Xanax and fentanyl is considered a “death pill” by law enforcement. Illicit Xanax can be made with the deadly opioid laced into it without the user’s knowledge.
According to a DEA-licensed laboratory that tests drugs submitted by the public, many substances are listed as Xanax. In fact, they are fake versions of it, and some listed are not Xanax at all.
Other chemicals the lab has found in the fake alprazolam have been caffeine, MDMA (ecstasy), flualprazolam (a synthetic benzo derivative never made but popular on the party scene), and haloperidol (a drug used to treat mental disorders and Tourette syndrome).
It is crucial to view the lab’s list of submitted Xanax-like drugs to know what the danger of Xanax without a prescription is.
The Grand Junction, Colorado, newspaper reports that a man who was arrested in a drug bust said he bought the pill press and powders online using Bitcoin and made mostly counterfeit Xanax. Fentanyl was also found in his home as he was also making counterfeit fentanyl pills.
Xanax And Fentanyl Mixed Together
Xanax and fentanyl are a dangerous combination. When they are mixed together and pressed into pills, there is no way to know how much fentanyl is in each pill. If only one counterfeit Xanax bar is taken, it can cause someone to blackout, go into a coma or die. There is no way to know what is in that pill. A wee bit of fentanyl in that bar can produce a fatal result. Here’s why:
Fentanyl-laced Xanax can accelerate respiratory depression and may increase dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty in concentrating. It also can cause someone to go into cardiac arrest.
If fentanyl in powder form is ingested, the drug is even more dangerous to take. It is more likely to be combined with alprazolam, or any other ingredient(s) that drug dealers use to make fake Xanax.
If you believe that you or someone you are with has taken a fake fentanyl-laced Xanax, call 911 immediately. It could save yours or someone else’s life. Blackouts, severe respiratory distress, severe drowsiness, and confusion are signs of a possible fentanyl overdose, per Drugs.com.
Pill Pressing And The Dangers Of Xanax
There are many people who make their own vitamins and nutritional supplements, at home, using small pill presses with die molds. They are not the folks to be worried about.
North America and the UK have been exposed to suspicious people ordering pill presses, die molds, and the chemicals and ingredients to make fake Xanax (alprazolam). The hugely popular anti-anxiety medicine is a big money-maker for those who make the fake version and sell it.
There is never any guarantee that the Xanax bar just bought and taken is comprised of alprazolam or other ingredients. There is also no guarantee that the bar is not laced with cheap ingredient fentanyl.
For the sake of yours or someone else’s health, safety, and life, only take Xanax from a prescription by a licensed medical professional. If you need to come down after taking party drugs, do it naturally and not chemically.