Fake Xanax | Effects & Dangers Of Counterfeit Xanax

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Counterfeit Xanax closely mimics real Xanax. While it is sometimes sold in bright colors to attract a specific crowd, it can be close to impossible to identify high quality counterfeits without using a testing kit to look for adulterants.

Counterfeit Xanax pills and tablets look like small white tablets and pills, similar to authentic Xanax. Fake Xanax may also be brighter in color to attract buyers, and their ingredients may be identified with drug testing strips.

Fake Xanax tablets and pills may contain fentanyl, methamphetamine, high amounts of alprazolam, or etizolam, an unapproved benzodiazepine drug in the United States. Fake prescription drugs can be dangerous, due to the increased risk of drug overdose.

Fake Xanax In Ohio

In late 2021, the Ohio Department of Health issued a warning on counterfeit prescription medications. 

These counterfeit drugs looked like Xanax and OxyContin, but actually contained fentanyl. Counterfeit pills containing fentanyl and other illegal drugs may be found throughout the state.

How To Spot Fake Xanax Pills

Fake Xanax pills may closely resemble authentic Xanax. Approved versions of the drug include small tablets, pills, and bars, which can be white, blue, green, or yellow in color. Fake Xanax may adopt these appearances as well or contain brighter colors for increased visual appeal.

Aside from their appearance, counterfeit Xanax may be identified by how they are sold. 

If Xanax is being sold by an unlicensed provider or in unusual quantities, the risk of tampering or counterfeiting may be high. Obtaining Xanax from a licensed healthcare provider can reduce the risk of ingesting fake Xanax.

Local harm reduction centers may offer drug testing strips, which can identify dangerous ingredients in prescription or street drugs.

Effects & Dangers Of Ingesting Fake Xanax

If you ingest fake prescription pills such as Xanax, you may unknowingly introduce dangerous synthetic opioids, amphetamines, or benzodiazepines into your system. These substances can have life-threatening short-term and long-term side effects.

Drug Overdose

Fentanyl, methamphetamine, and etizolam are common ingredients in fake Xanax pills. These substances can cause different side effects when taken in high doses.

Fentanyl overdoses can cause life-threatening breathing problems. Meth overdoses can cause dangerously high body temperatures, while benzodiazepine overdoses can cause excessive sedation. Overdosing on fake pills may warrant immediate medical treatment.

In Ohio, fentanyl was involved in over 80 percent of overdose deaths in 2020. Some of these opioid overdose deaths may have been caused by ingesting fake Xanax pills.

Substance Use Disorder

A substance use disorder is a mental health condition characterized by an inability to stop taking habit-forming drugs. 

Counterfeit pills can contain several habit-forming substances, and ingesting fake pills is a form of drug abuse, which can both increase your risk of developing an SUD.

SUD victims may also suffer from long-term side effects of counterfeit drugs, which may include tooth decay, cardiovascular problems, and depression.

Find Addiction Treatment In Ohio

If you or a loved one are suffering from side effects of counterfeit Xanax use, contact Ohio Recovery Center. Our substance abuse treatment programs can provide necessary help and improve your long-term outlook.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2021-05/Counterfeit%20Pills%20fact%20SHEET-5-13-21-FINAL.pdf
  2. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34170084/
  3. Ohio Department of Health https://www.pharmacy.ohio.gov/Documents/Pubs/NewsReleases/2021/Health%20Alert%20-%20Increase%20in%20Counterfeit%20Prescription%20Tablets%20Containing%20Fentanyl.pdf

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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