Xanax Overdoses from Drug Dealers Prescribing Pills

Many Xanax overdoses result from drug dealers illegally prescribing pills to consumers who do not require this substance. 

Table of Contents

What is Xanax?

Xanax is a powerful prescription drug that can help someone deal with acute or chronic anxiety. This specific medication is classified as a benzodiazepine, meaning it can be highly addictive and lead to a potential Xanax overdose. As with any prescription drug, the Xanax side effects can include inclinations to enhance addictive tendencies in those who are already at risk. 

What is Xanax used for?

Xanax, generically known as alprazolam, is a sedative that acts as an antidote for anxiety disorders. It is considered a benzodiazepine (benzos). Benzos can create a calming feeling that can easily become addictive to those who suffer from chronic anxiety. 

Drug Class

As mentioned above, this drug is specifically classed as a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepine classed drugs are controlled substances due to their addictive nature. They are also classed as opioids. Xanax overdose is unfortunately common due to the relief that it provides. 

Street Names for Xanax

Xanax is known by several different names on the street and is often sold as an illicit drug due to how addicting it is. Common street names include:

  • Xanny
  • Xanax Bars
  • X
  • Bars
  • Yellows
  • Uppers  

Is Xanax Addictive?

Yes, Xanax can be potentially addictive due to how it interacts with the central nervous system. The body can become dependent on this substance if it becomes accustomed to the effects.

The relief that the body initially feels makes Xanax overdose unfortunately common – especially when coupled with consumption of alcohol. Xanax and alcohol together can make the impact of the alcohol much greater than if an individual was drinking without being medicated. 

Why People Abuse Xanax

Every person who struggles with addiction has a unique story of what brought them to the point and pattern of use. Several different environmental factors could influence one’s pattern of drug abuse, including underlying depression and anxiety, peer pressure, or social use.1   

How Xanax Addiction Develops

The process of addiction development looks different for everyone. When the body consumes Xanax frequently or consumes higher dosages than prescribed, it is possible to become dependent on the substance. Xanax addiction can be fatal, either through Fentanyl-laced pills, incorrect dosages, or Xanax withdrawal symptoms. 

How to Spot Fake Xanax Pills

Fake Xanax pills can be difficult to spot and could be in a subclass of illicit drugs that are fentanyl-laced pills. The real Xanax looks the same every time. According to the High Alert pharmaceutical alert site for the country of New Zealand, there are several defining factors of fake Xanax:2

  • White Type: This type is in the shape of a white bar with XANAX on one side and “2” on the other side. These types of fake Xanax show three break lines.
  • Yellow Type: This type of Xanax is a yellow rectangle bar shape, which also has three break lines. While both types have the term XANAX on one side, the fake yellow bar type will have R039 printed on the alternate side. 

Side Effects

Side effects of fake Xanax can be difficult to identify from symptoms associated with real Xanax pills. Side effects may include the normal sedative effects that you would expect with a true Xanax pill, overexertion of the heart (demand cardiac ischemia), seizures, stroke, heart failure, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest and difficulty, and kidney injuries.

Fentanyl Laced Drugs

Fentanyl-laced drugs are becoming more of an epidemic as dealers seek to turn higher profits from those struggling with addiction. Fentanyl is a common cutting drug of choice when it comes to lacing benzodiazepines. It is a synthetic opioid and is far more potent than a regular drug. It is also known under its other names, Actiq or Sublimaze. It is nearly fifty to one hundred times more potent than regular benzos.4  

Where do Drug Dealers Sell These Pills?

It may be shocking to discover that a drug dealer’s location of choice is often the internet – but it is true. Due to the unrestricted nature of the internet, it can be quite easy for dealers to target the more vulnerable populations – such as those currently struggling with addiction, younger individuals, or those who are dealing with anxiety and depression. 

Social Media

Many platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, have a very low barrier to entry. This low barrier makes the possibility of targeting via social media channels very real as many choose to use multiple accounts, entities, and targeted hashtags.


Additional concerns for drug addiction and abuse can lie in simple apps that allow for random messaging, such as Omegle, Telegram, and WhatsApp. These alternative messaging applications allow for anonymity, difficulty tracking and retaining each message, and another way for dealers to sell their products. 

Dark Net

While much of the internet is largely unregulated, there are standing abilities for concerned citizens to report posts and users to keep commonly used media outlets safer. Alternatively, dealers may choose to use the dark net (otherwise known as the dark web) to sell drugs and pills, completely anonymously and without leaving a trace. 

Prevent from Getting Counterfeit Pills

Anytime that you purchase a pill from a source other than a trusted medical professional, there is an inherent amount of risk that you take on.

To minimize the risk of consuming counterfeit or laced pills, you should order your prescriptions only from a trusted pharmacy or medical professional. You should never trust any alternative vendor or site on the common-use internet, marketplaces, forums, or the dark web. 

How to Spot an Opioid Overdose

Xanax overdose looks very similar to common opioid overdose. Overdosing on Xanax can be fatal, which is why it is critical to take only what is prescribed and at the correct dose. If you are concerned about a potential overdose on Xanax or any other prescription drug, call 911 right away for further assistance. 

Xanax Overdose Symptoms

Xanax overdose symptoms may include: 

  • Visible confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Blurry vision
  • Seizure
  • Respiratory or cardiac arrest
  • Non-responsiveness
  • Loss of consciousness 

Treatment to Prevent Overdoses

Xanax overdose can be avoided with preventative care measures and counseling. If you or someone that you know is at risk for overdose, contact help from a licensed therapist, medical professional, or addiction center today. 

How Preemptive Addiction Treatment Can Stop an Overdose from Happening

Often, environmental factors can contribute heavily to the risk of addiction. Preemptive addiction treatment may include talk therapy, intensive counseling, and professional psychiatric evaluation by a licensed psychiatrist or another medical professional.

This type of screening and preventative treatment can save countless lives by providing individuals the help that they need in a more constructive form than illicit drugs. 

Xanax Addiction Treatment

Xanax addiction and treatment can go a long way in preventing a Xanax overdose. 


Xanax withdrawal can lead to side effects like those of Xanax side effects, and withdrawal and detox centers provide professional oversight as the individual navigates the detox process. 


Other therapies often used in conjunction with detox therapy include talk therapy or other forms of counseling, such as CBT. 


MAT stands for medication-assisted therapy. This type of intervention is designed to prevent overdose on Xanax and can be helpful for those deep in addiction. This type of treatment is unique and often used in conjunction with other therapies. 

Inpatient Care

Many inpatient care centers exist to help those struggling with addiction and provide intensive rehabilitation services used in conjunction with other therapies. 

Outpatient Care

Outpatient care centers exist to provide others with a more flexible treatment option that allows them to take treatment at their own pace, in conjunction with other therapies. Rehabilitation is the emphasis in this type of treatment. Outpatient care centers are not usually the first choice of treatments after acute instances of abuse or Xanax overdose. 


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Gina Bowman

Executive Assistant

Gina Bowman is the Executive Assistant at Brooks Healing Center. She was born in Florida but resides in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with her husband, Tyler Bowman, and two daughters Charlotte and Isabella.

Gina is a friendly, loyal, and dedicated individual. She has a heart for helping others and understands the effects of addiction and the toll it can take on families. She is the one that helps make things happen behind the scenes and brings fun ideas to Brooks Healing Center as well as keeping things organized. 

Colleen Bradford, MBA, BA-MHR

Executive Director, Human Resources Director

Colleen Believes servitude towards others provides a solid foundation for personal and professional growth. She is a calm problem solver who juggles multiple situations simultaneously and works confidently and efficiently in even the most challenging, fast-paced environments. She is highly regarded for her consistent ability to apply sound judgment, emotional intelligence, and etiquette to sensitive, confidential, and unpredictable situations. She is an organized, professional, resourceful, and seasoned healthcare professional with diverse skills for boosting organizational productivity and quality of care initiatives.

Colleen has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration with a minor in health care administration from Trevecca Nazarene University. She has been married for 32 years to Doyle Bradford, and they have two sons, Thomas and Allen Bradford, along with two grandchildren, Ben and Faith Bradford. She is excited to have this unique opportunity to serve her community. She is a phenomenal cookie baker and mother figure to those at the Brooks Healing Center. We are honored to have her be a part of our vision. 

Frank Throneberry

Co-Founder and COO

Frank is a lifelong 7th generation native of Middle Tennessee. Frank cares for his local community and keeping Tennessee healthy, knowing that people all over the USA seek out his home state’s friendly and outdoor atmosphere. He is a hardworking and energetic person that is no stranger to going out of his way to help others.

Frank started his recovery from alcohol and substance abuse over seven years ago. He is continually working on a recovery program and became passionate about sharing his story, helping others, and supporting others to find freedom from their addiction. He also formerly owned and managed ‘recovery community’ homes where he walked with and encouraged many individuals in their journey. Frank’s servant attitude is what helps him listen, understand, and put others’ needs first.

Outside of his career, Frank cherishes his time with his wife, Maribeth, and his three children: Jackson, Piper, and Charlie. They enjoy the great outdoors on their family farm in Shelbyville, TN, and boating and fishing with family on Tim’s Ford Lake. He is a dedicated husband and father. 

James “Tyler” Bowman

Founder and CEO

Tyler is the heart of the Brooks Healing Center. His vision is to guide others to find their own recovery and to thrive in life. Tyler was fortunate to have lived through his addiction and now finds fulfillment in serving others. Tyler has worked in the substance abuse field for over five years and felt convicted to build a place where individuals are loved until they can learn to love themselves.  

Tyler has the love and support of his family as he continues to provide care to those who have lost themselves along the way. Tyler is the father of two daughters, Charlotte, his oldest, and Isabella, his youngest. Tyler’s wife, Gina, supports the Brooks Healing Center’s vision, and she shares his passion for helping others as well.  

Tyler has a story to tell and is willing to share his experiences, good or bad, with anyone. Brooks Healing Center is the way he gives back for all he took when he was using. For the past seven years, Tyler has gone beyond to share his recovery and is thriving in life.