|In America, Xanax is the third most popular psychiatric drug according to one peer-reviewed study – a modern lotus plant with cult status among celebrities and a notoriety made worse by its implication in the recent death of rapper Lil Peep.|
In late 2015 dealers began pressing their own pills using powder imported from China. This enabled them to produce massive quantities of the drug at extremely low cost.
The 21-year-old rapper overdosed on fentanyl and Xanax.
|In January 2017, police in the UK intercepted a huge shipment of alprazolam powder. The three seizures amounted to more than 50kg – enough to press more than 25 million counterfeit Xanax pills containing 2mg alprazolam each. It was the largest seizure in UK dark net history.|
The UK market was monopolized by one producer and one supplier. Their revenue ran into the millions – and they achieved it all in plain sight, leaving a brazen and extensive online trail. Last summer police intervened.
|It takes only a few weeks of taking benzodiazepines and one develops dependence so that tolerance for the drug increases and you need to take larger and larger doses. When you stop taking benzodiazepines you end up with severe withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, panic attacks and even hallucinations. Dealers are mixing fake Xanax with other drugs that act as depressants, such as ketamine – and that combination can be deadly.|
Xanax has fully infiltrated US pop culture. It’s a pill that artists rap about, and everyone from Justin Bieber to Tiger Woods seems to have abused.