Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication that acts on the brain and nervous system, inducing a calming effect. Recently, fake Xanax has been introduced into mainstream society, causing dangerous side effects and leaving an indelible mark on today’s youth.
One of the most dangerous aspects of counterfeit Xanax is the public’s lack of knowledge about its ingredients. Fake Xanax, often distributed by street vendors and questionable websites, is frequently laced with fentanyl. This dangerous opioid is comparable to morphine, but is at least twice as strong.
Fentanyl is very accessible and is often prescribed to help manage chronic pain. Suppression of breath, nausea, weight loss and vomiting are some of the many side effects associated with this drug. The inclusion of fentanyl in fake Xanax is common due to its low price and high potency.
As we all know, children, teens, and college students are more stressed than ever. Factors such as peer pressure, parental influence and low self-esteem are affecting students in record numbers and they are sinking under the pressure. And since young people often lack the appropriate coping methods, they sometimes turn to drugs to numb the pain. The desire to be “Insta-perfect” and excel in every aspect of their lives is taking a toll, drawing more and more young people to abuse Xanax. They often are willing to take anything given to them, hoping it will help.
In all likelihood, young people aren’t aware they’re taking counterfeit drugs and accidentally ingesting fentanyl. Fake Xanax is produced to look like a perfect replica of the FDA–approved substance, including the size, color and pharmaceutical markings. Additionally, children have been known to steal their parent’s drugs. This makes the problem even more complex, as adults are also sometimes fooled by the authentic look of the artificial drug.
There have been numerous cases of hospitalizations and even death associated with fake Xanax. The fentanyl-laced product has been linked to heart problems, respiratory and nervous system overstimulation, and hallucinations.
The availability and widespread distribution of fake Xanax is an emerging epidemic in American society. Only through intensive education and a willingness to solely attain the medication from a board-certified, pharmaceutical resource can we begin to address the dangerous impact of it.