A new fad reportedly has young adults popping counterfeit Xanax pills, which authorities warn could contain the potentially deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl.
The party drug is commonly known as “xans” and “bars," according to a new report from KTTV in Los Angeles.
“Imagine three to five grains of table salt, that’s the potential fatal dose for an adult,” DEA Diversion Program Manager Marlon Whitfield told KTTV. “If you take one of these pills, there’s a chance you may die."
"Xans" have been glorified by hip hop artists in the music industry, they’ve appeared in numerous of their music videos, and they’re being sold all over social media, especially Instagram.
It has been reported that fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin, and 100 times more powerful than morphine. It can be used legitimately with a doctor to treat acute pain, but the DEA says fentanyl is finding its way into counterfeit Xanax which is now being sold on American streets.
The DEA says that Xanax should only be taken with a prescription from a doctor, and that getting it from anywhere else is putting you at risk for an overdose of fentanyl.
The DEA told KTTV that fentanyl has been pouring into the United States from China, where there are looser regulations and numerous pharmaceutical companies, and that between 2014 and 2016 the amount that was seized coming into the US went up eighteen fold.