Xanax is a powerful benzodiazepine that is commonly used in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and other panic disorders. Prescriptions for this medication have risen more than 66% in the last two decades. Recently, this drug has become increasingly pervasive in pop culture. From celebrities, rappers, and other influencers mentioning this potent drug to commercial promotions for Xanax – some consider the rise in popularity as dangerously misleading. 

Another recent trend to follow Xanax abuse is pills laced with fentanyl. This fatal combination may lead to cardiac arrest and death. Ultimately, recognizing Xanax laced with fentanyl is a matter of life and death for you or your loved one. While Xanax abuse in itself poses serious risks to users, there are significant dangers related to taking Xanax that is laced with fentanyl. 

Understanding Fentanyl-Laced Xanax

Xanax addiction has become increasingly prevalent throughout the U.S. but specifically amongst young adolescents. The rise in popularity amongst influencers has led many curious teenagers to search for the prescriptions around the home, purchase it at school, or find a connection on the street to get the drug. No matter the age, Xanax abusers are often unaware of the risks of acquiring this potent drug anywhere other than a physician. 

Over the last decade, illegal drug manufacturers have been mixing their pills with fentanyl. This gives users a stronger high and dealers are able to charge more money for it because it is much more potent than a typical Xanax pill. Fake Xanax pills that are laced with fentanyl often look the same but have a variety of potentially deadly health concerns. 

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is widely used to cut heroin to increase its intoxicating effects and is responsible for causing accidental overdoses all across the globe. Xanax users may have a hard time identifying a fake pill which can ultimately lead to severe health consequences and even death.


Fentanyl-laced Xanax is one of the most dangerous drugs on the streets of America today. A minuscule amount of fentanyl has the potential to cause a fatal overdose for the user. Three to five grains (similar to grains of salt) are fatal in some cases. Moreover, individuals who ingest these fake Xanax pills never know exactly what they are getting – posing an additional risk to an already lengthy list of health concerns. 

Side Effects of Fake Xanax Laced with Fentanyl

The street name for Xanax is often referred to as Xannies, Zannies, Zanza-bars, bars, footballs, or handlebars. Fentanyl-laced Xanax is often thinner than a legitimate Xanax and often has a number stamped on them to make them appear less counterfeit. Individually, Xanax is a commonly abused prescription drug. Combining Xanax and Fentanyl typically leads to a dangerous cycle of abuse that also leads to potentially fatal consequences. Opiates, such as fentanyl, mixed with benzodiazepines, such as Xanax can increase the likelihood of overdose. Benzodiazepines heighten the effects of opioids and fentanyl is one of the most potent opioids available. 

Abuse of Xanax laced with fentanyl leads to a variety of severe and dangerous side effects including:

  • Hives
  • Extreme itching
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Shallow or slowed breathing
  • Respiratory depression
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Coma 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Headaches 
  • Fatal overdose

Fake pills mixed with fentanyl also pose immediate dangers, no matter the situation – including respiratory depression, coma, or death. Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, are specifically dangerous when combined with fentanyl because they heighten the likelihood of overdose. 

Avoiding Fake Xanax 

Individuals who are prescribed Xanax can easily avoid fake pills by only filling their prescriptions at a licensed pharmacy. It is important that these individuals do not attempt to save money by purchasing Xanax online from overseas pharmacies. Furthermore, prescriptions filled outside of the U.S. cannot be verified. 

If an individual is addicted to Xanax and is abusing the pill for recreational purposes, it is likely that they are buying the drug from an unverifiable source. No matter what drug is purchased off the street, it is impossible to truly know what chemicals were used during production. Fake pills are typically “cut” with an array of different chemicals in order to maximize the profit on mass-productions.

Deaths caused by fentanyl-laced pills disguised as Xanax provide a grim look into the danger of purchasing fake pills on the street. The best way to avoid inadvertently purchasing fake Xanax is to seek help for your addiction. 

Xanax abuse leads to severe physical dependence and dangerous health complications. It is vital for an individual to seek professional detoxification when attempting to quit using Xanax. Detox should always be followed by comprehensive addiction treatment to address the underlying causes of substance abuse. If you or someone you love is struggling with Xanax addiction and is at risk for seeking out pills laced with fentanyl on the street, reach out to our specialists a