Being worried every once in a while is a normal part of life. However, it can also persist and become overwhelming to the point that it affects everyday life. This is known as anxiety, and its symptoms come in panic attacks, phobias, and distress.
This disorder is the most common mental illness in the country. It affects 40 million adults aged 18 and older, or 18.1 percent of the population, every year in the U.S. Those who constantly struggle with anxiety symptoms get through each day through medications like Xanax.
What is Xanax and What Are the Side Effects?
Xanax is part of a group of medications called benzodiazepines, which increases the availability of a neurotransmitter that calms the nervous system in the brain. It treats panic attacks and anxiety by making the body feel more relaxed and capable of handling stressful situations. It produces intense sedation minutes after it is consumed.
Xanax is a psychiatric medication that produces a significant effect on your brain chemistry. It can cause severe health conditions, and you may even develop dependence or tolerance to it even if you are using it as prescribed.
The side effects of using Xanax are even more dangerous when mixed with other drugs, like marijuana, alcohol, and other prescription and over-the-counter medications. They can interact with Xanax negatively and can put your life at risk. This is why you should never consume alcohol and other drugs when taking Xanax.
Here are some possible physical, mental, and emotional effects to watch out for when taking this medication:
- Rapid weight loss
- Stomach problems
- Decreased urine output
- Swelling in hands and feet
- Blurred or double vision
- Suicidal thoughts
- Memory loss
- Heart palpitations
- Scattered or non-cohesive thoughts
- Extreme distress
- Suicidal thoughts
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above while using Xanax, seek medical attention right away.
What Do the Different Color Bars Mean?
Xanax comes in white when prescribed by healthcare professionals,, which is the most common color for medications. It is available in round, oval, rectangular, and five-sided shapes with strength varying from 0.25-2 milligrams. It features the letters of the medication on one side and a number that represents its dosage. It is also usually marked with scores to make it easier to split into smaller portions. Users can break the Xanax pills in half to consume a zero milligram strength.
Xanax tablets have different colors because different companies manufacture them. The yellow rectangular ones are usually called “yellow school buses” due to their color and shape, and they are in two milligrams and similar in effect to the white-colored ones. Other shapes in yellow that are available in one milligram are ellipse, oval, and four sides.
Actavis manufactures the blue pills, which come from the inactive ingredients used as fillers. The round ones have a strength of one milligram and are imprinted with R on them. The oblong-shaped ones are called “blue football” because of their shape, which is easier to consume than other Xanax types. All of these colors are approved by the FDA.
How Do I Spot Fake Xanax Bar?
Due to the high demand for Xanax bars, counterfeit pills are now being sold in the market. The fake ones are usually in white and blue, depending on the batch that is going around. Users usually try to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit Xanax medications by looking at the letters pressed into the pills. Fake ones will have the letters pressed into the drug. These letters appear almost identical to the real ones, but they might be slightly off.
Despite knowing about counterfeit signs, spotting fake Xanax bars is next to impossible. Many counterfeit drugs nowadays have the latest technology to produce well-made dupes. The best possible way to tell whether a Xanax pill is fake or not is to compare it to an authentic one.
Authentic Xanax pills come in rectangle, round, and oval shapes. The rectangular ones are white, blue, yellow, or green. It is probably a fake if you have one in another color. Meanwhile, round and oval-shaped Xanax bars come in white, orange, peach, purple, and blue.
Your Xanax pill is also likely a fake if it has a faded logo, rough edges, and an uneven appearance. To ensure you are getting the real deal, buy from licensed pharmacies only.
What Are the Dangers of Consuming Fake Xanax?
Some common hazards of fake Xanax are higher doses of harmful chemicals and a higher risk of becoming sick due to pathogens. Purchasing Xanax without minding whether you have the real one or not can be a sign of addiction. Keep in mind that this medication in its legal form is supposed to be used alongside therapies to treat anxiety symptoms. Consuming it without any mental health support, like individual counseling or group therapy, can increase your risk for physical and emotional dependency.
Authentic pills also have a specific dosage that is used to ease mental health symptoms. Counterfeit ones can have too much or too little of the dosage, and using them could worsen your mental health and cause severe withdrawal symptoms.
Another reason why fake Xanax pills are dangerous is they are usually mixed with a high dose of fentanyl. It is a potent synthetic opioid that is cheap and easy to produce. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said that this opioid is 100 times more powerful than morphine. This means anyone who uses fentanyl-laced Xanax may experience an overdose, which can be fatal.
Is Xanax Addictive?
Xanax can be helpful to people struggling with anxiety and who need relief from the symptoms of their mental health disorder. But it can be a risky medication as it is highly addictive. Because of this, it always has to be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
These pills are Schedule 4 controlled substances available by prescription only. Those who cannot get a prescription seek out illegal or fake Xanax to appease their craving. Here are other symptoms of addiction to Xanax:
- Turning to Xanax whenever you feel distressed
- Taking more than the prescribed dose
- Finding other healthcare professionals so you can get more of the medication
- Feeling withdrawal symptoms when you aren’t taking the pills
How Do I Deal With Addiction?
Having an addiction to Xanax defeats the purpose of why you started taking it in the first place, which is to help you cope with your anxiety and other mental health concerns. If you are struggling with drug addiction while dealing with the symptoms of anxiety, you don’t have to worry because you can overcome it.
Note that Xanax has such a high strength. Don’t quit the pills cold turkey because abruptly stopping use can cause severe withdrawal symptoms and send your mind and body into shock. What you can do is get the right kind of help to fight against your Xanax addiction.
Make it your priority to quit Xanax with medical supervision. Reach out to a rehabilitation center near you immediately to learn more about and get more assistance on beating the symptoms of addiction.
Xanax can serve as an effective remedy for anxiety, but forming an addiction to it even if you are taking it as prescribed by your doctor is possible. Overcoming addiction to this medication is not easy, but you have the best chance at achieving recovery with the right support and treatment program.