Behind the Mask: Fake Xanax’s Chilling Connection to Seizures and Naloxone Resistance | Clear Update

Fake Xanax
Fake Xanax

In recent times, the emergence of bromazolam as a street drug has raised significant concerns within the United States. This article delves into the alarming cases documented by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shedding light on the severe consequences of bromazolam consumption. From protracted seizures to comas, this potent designer benzodiazepine demands our attention and awareness.

The Rise of Bromazolam

Bromazolam, originally detected in recreational drugs in Europe in 2016, has rapidly made its way into the United States, earning notorious monikers like “XLI-268,” “Xanax,” “Fake Xanax,” and “Dope.” The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE) highlighted its presence, emphasizing the need for vigilance in the face of this clandestine threat.

The CDC Report: Unmasking the Perils

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the CDC outlines three harrowing cases of young adults falling victim to bromazolam, thinking they were consuming alprazolam. These individuals, previously healthy, ended up unresponsive, prompting urgent medical intervention. The severity of the outcomes, including protracted seizures, myocardial injury, and comas, underscores the urgent need for public health attention.

Case Details

  1. Case 1: The Struggle with Seizures
    • A 25-year-old man faced hypertensive crises, tachycardia, hyperthermia, and multiple seizures.
    • Intubated and admitted to intensive care, he struggled for five days before discharge.
  2. Case 2: A Battle Against Unresponsiveness
    • Another 25-year-old man, with elevated temperature and multiple seizures, required ICU admission.
    • Discharged on the fourth day with mild hearing difficulty.
  3. Case 3: The Persistent Coma
    • A 20-year-old woman, intubated and nonresponsive with focal seizures, progressed to status epilepticus.
    • Despite multiple antiepileptic medications, she lapsed into a persistent coma and was lost to follow-up.

Bromazolam’s Lethal Surge

The CDC’s revelation about bromazolam’s surge in the United States is alarming. As of mid-2022, it was identified in over 250 toxicology cases and in more than 190 toxicology samples tested at CFSRE. Shockingly, the incidence increased from 1% in early 2021 to 13% by mid-2022, with 75% of cases also positive for fentanyl.

Global Health Alerts and Regional Warnings

Health authorities worldwide have sounded the alarm on designer benzodiazepines, particularly bromazolam. The CDC emphasizes the inefficacy of naloxone in countering benzodiazepine overdoses, urging clinicians and first responders to consider bromazolam in cases involving seizures, myocardial injury, or hyperthermia after illicit drug use.

Regional Notifications

  1. New Brunswick’s Sudden Deaths
    • Detected in nine sudden death investigations, with some cases also involving fentanyl.
  2. Northwest Territories’ Caution
    • Detected in the region’s drug supply, cautioning against combining it with opioids.
  3. Indiana’s Overdose Epidemic
    • In 2023 alone, 35 overdoses tested positive for bromazolam, marking a concerning increase.

Law Enforcement’s Battle: Seizures and Stats

Law enforcement seizures of bromazolam in the United States tell a troubling tale. From negligible numbers in 2016-2018 to a staggering 2913 cases in 2023, the rise is concerning. Illinois, in particular, has witnessed a spike in bromazolam-involved deaths, from 10 in 2021 to 51 in 2022, as reported by CDC researchers.


The findings presented in this article underscore the urgency of addressing the bromazolam crisis. With a surge in cases, increasing fatalities, and the drug’s insidious combination with fentanyl, swift action is imperative. The article aims to serve as a comprehensive resource, bringing attention to the gravity of bromazolam abuse and its far-reaching consequences.



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