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Liquid (or Powder) Xanax – What Is It, and Is It Safe?

The type of Xanax that most people are familiar with comes in pill form and is regularly prescribed throughout the United States. It belongs to a class of sedative anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines.

Benzodiazepines work by increasing the amount of GABA in your brain, which in turn reduces excess activity that leads to anxiety or panic.

Traditional Xanax

Xanax, generically known as alprazolam, is most commonly prescribed for the short-term treatment of anxiety disorders and panic disorders. It helps to reduce the frequency of panic attacks as well as the acute symptoms of anxiety.

Xanax was first created as an effort to provide a safer alternative to highly addictive tranquilizing drugs, such as barbiturates, that were used for managing anxiety.

When used as directed by a doctor, Xanax is considered safe for managing anxiety. Recent trends of prescription drug abuse, however, indicate that Xanax is commonly misused and taken in ways other than as intended by medical professionals.

What Is Liquid Xanax?

Liquid Xanax is a far less frequently prescribed form of Xanax than the traditional pill variety. When obtained legally, it comes in a small bottle with a calibrated dropper prescribed by your doctor. The concentrated solution should be mixed with liquid or semisolid food when you take it. Opened bottles should be discarded after 90 days.

According to Mayo Clinic, Xanax is available in oral dosage forms that include pills, orally disintegrating tablets, and a solution. People report preferring the liquid version over the pill form because it is easier to take and just as effective.

Average doses of oral forms of Xanax are:

  • 25 mg to 0.5 mg three times a day for anxiety.
  • 5 mg three time a day for panic disorders.

Use for children must be determined on an individual basis.

Determining the correct dosage for yourself is tricky, as the medicine affects each individual differently. When taking liquid Xanax medicinally, your doctor can work with you to increase or decrease your dosage until you achieve the desired effects.

People who experiment with liquid Xanax for recreational purposes, however, buy Xanax online in pill or powder form and then mix it with small amounts of liquids at home. This allows the user to take a few drops of the liquid on their tongue or put the substance into a vaporizer pen and inhale it that way.

People report having a difficult time achieving the right concentration of homemade liquid Xanax. Users who appear experienced with liquid Xanax suggest sticking with the traditional pill form of the drug, as the dosage and resulting high are much more reliable.

Xanax Powder

Xanax powder is a form of alprazolam that is frequently bought and sold on the black market. Huge shipments of alprazolam powder are sent around the world to illicit manufacturers who package it into a product that can be sold for a significant profit. Illegal manufacturers press the powder into counterfeit Xanax pills, liquid Xanax, or sell the powder as is.

A recent drug bust in Great Britain revealed the large scale of the illegal Xanax powder operations. Powder was imported from China, pressed into pills in the UK, and sold on the streets. In January 2017, UK law enforcement officials sized over 50 kilograms of alprazolam powder. This was enough to be pressed into 25 million pills of counterfeit Xanax.

Over the course of the next year, additional seizures were made of shipments of powder and pills that were intended to be sold on the black market throughout the UK.

Law enforcement officials are eager to seize illegal Xanax due to the significant risks it poses to people using it. Over 20 deaths were associated with illegal Xanax use around this time in the UK, and many more adolescents displayed signs of alprazolam addiction, which developed within just weeks of taking the drug.

Is Liquid Xanax Legal?

The legality of liquid Xanax depends on how you obtained it and how you are using it.

It is legal to take Xanax in a solution form as prescribed by your doctor. The legal form of liquid Xanax, Alprazolam Intensol, is manufactured by West-Ward Pharmaceuticals. Doctors can prescribe this form of the medication to patients who prefer taking the medication in liquid form rather than swallowing a pill.

Illegal use of the drug, however, begins when you use Xanax in any way other than as medically intended. Prescription drug misuse includes:

  • Taking your own medication in ways other than as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Taking someone else’s medication.
  • Using these medications for the sole purpose of getting high.
  • Purchasing the medications from the black market.

Any of the above behaviors indicates illegal misuse of prescription drugs. If you are concerned about these behaviors in yourself or a loved one, it may be time to speak with your doctor about getting help for a substance use disorder.

Risks Associated With Liquid or Powder Xanax

People interested in experimenting with benzodiazepines like Xanax are largely undeterred by the risks of purchasing the substance off the black market. There are many risks, however, associated with consuming products this way.

Risks associated with using illegal liquid or powder Xanax include:

  • Impurity of the alprazolam.
  • High likelihood that the Xanax is laced with other substances.
  • Buying something that is not Xanax at all.
  • Issues with correct dosing.
  • Increased likelihood of experiencing adverse side effects.
  • Amplified chance of overdose.

Significant risks are associated with consuming fake Xanax. Any type of Xanax that is bought off the street and not provided through your doctor should be considered to be fake. There is no way to assure the quality and ingredients of products sold on the street, and consuming them puts you at significant health risks.

Most drug-related overdoses that result in visits to the emergency room are caused by a combination of substances that people didn’t even know they had consumed. Fatal fentanyl overdoses, for example, have been on the rise over past few years in people who had no intention of taking fentanyl or any idea they had consumed it.

Fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, is manufactured in illegal labs and frequently sold as entirely different products, such as Xanax. In these cases, people who think they are taking Xanax are actually consuming a significantly more potent drug that leads to overdose at much lower dosage levels. If people knew what they were consuming, they may take less of the drug, be more careful about other substances they combine it with, or not consume it at all.

How to Use Xanax Safely

The only way to ensure safe consumption of Xanax is to use it when prescribed by a doctor and exactly as they instruct you to do so.

Misuse of prescription drugs, like Xanax, has become a major public health concern in the United States. Thousands of people die every year due to overdoses caused by the misuse of prescription medications.

In order to reduce your chances of experiencing adverse outcomes from using Xanax, take it with extreme caution and only consume products that are acquired through certified and trusted sources. 

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Alprazolam. (September 2017). U.S. National Library of Medicine: Medline Plus.

Alprazolam (Oral Route). (January 2019). Mayo Clinic.

Fake Xanax: The UK’s Biggest Ever Dark Net Drugs Bust. (March 2018). British Broadcasting Channel.

Northern California is Hit by Wave of Overdoses from a Disguised Drug. (March 2016). The New York Times.

What Is Xanax (Alprazolam)? (May 2017). Everyday Health.

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