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Alprazolam (Xanax) harm reduction and comparison to diazepam and etizolam
#1
Yes yes I already made a Xanax thread. But with this stuff growing rapidly in the UK I wanted to make one focused more on actual harm reduction. This is a new drug to the mainstream UK market and many current benzo users in the UK are used to diazepam. Some will also have dabbled in RCs, most likely etizolam as it's always been the most popular. A comparison between alprazolam, diazepam, and etizolam therefore seems like it'll help a lot of people and hopefully keep them using safely rather than being silly.

Trust your source

Plainly, I cannot go into too much details on this without breaking rules, but as with any other drug you will see variations in potency between sources and it's good to know how to ensure you know what you're getting. The following is aimed at those buying on the streets. I assume anyone familiar with DNMs already knows where to get the good UK Xanax.

Alprazolam in the UK will come in two main forms: Asian blister packed generics and pressed Xanax bars.

A legitimate blister pack of something from a country like India should be pretty reasonable quality (remember, blistered etizolam was mostly Indian and was highly regarded) but a lot of fakes go about in the supply chain too. You really need to trust your supplier to have the real deal. Most fakes will simply contain no active ingredient.

Most blistered alprazolam from abroad will likely contain 1mg. If by some miracle you come across UK alprazolam, which I believe is actual Pfizer Xanax, it will only be in 0.25mg or 0.5mg doses. Higher doses are not legally sold in the UK. But you are very unlikely to ever see alprazolam actually destined for this country in the first place.

As for the bars, it's a more complex situation. First of all, there is a virtually zero percent chance that any bar you get in the UK has been anywhere near an actual pharmaceutical company. They're manufactured by the black market. But that doesn't necessarily indicate a lack of quality. A high quality pill press costs a lot of money and reflects a professional operation. There is one British vendor knocking out easily 90% of the entire country's supply. His reputation is very good because his product is good. If you get a Xanax bar that looks perfect, has no dust coming off it, doesn't crumble, and is a little shiny, odds are it comes from that vendor and does indeed contain alprazolam.

In fact, the bigger danger with the high quality pressed bars is actually the risk of getting too much alprazolam. A single bar should contain 2mg and most circulating in the UK do. But there are presses out there looking identical to the 2mg that actually contain 4mg. Starting with a quarter is a good idea if you're concerned you've received one of these. There are also red bars containing 5mg, but thankfully the fact they're bloody red makes it pretty obvious they're not normal bars.

However, if you get a bad quality press, it's probably pressed in some bloke's bedroom and could literally be fucking anything. Some even contain synthetic opioids similar to fentanyl - which can literally kill you. Got a bar that has dust rubbing off it, crumbles easily, has no shine, and maybe even doesn't get the basic shape right? I'd stay well away.

Comparative dosages

Most UK benzo users are used to diazepam which is must less potent than alprazolam. 10mg diazepam is equivalent to a mere 0.5mg alprazolam. So, needless to say, if you're used to boshing blues that does not mean you should do the same with bars. A single 2mg bar is as strong as 40mg diazepam. Don't be an idiot.

Alprazolam is double the potency of etizolam. So 1mg alprazolam is as potent as 2mg etizolam. However, subjectively, they feel equally strong, just in different ways. I'll get onto this later.

Effects

Before I start this section, I want to be clear that your mileage may very. Everyone reacts differently to drugs. If you are benzo naive or have a low tolerance, always start on a low dose (0.5mg alprazolam) to gauge how you react to it. In fact, even if you have experience with other benzos, don't jump in at silly doses with this stuff because some people will black out and go nuts.

But here's how it breaks down for me:

Alprazolam is more sedating, less buzzy, slightly less social, warmer, shorter acting, more functional, and more euphoric than etizolam.

Alprazolam is more sedating, just as buzzy (not very), more social, slightly less warm, much shorter acting, less functional, and similarly euphoric to diazepam.

I could essentially sum up alprazolam as diazepam's stronger cousin that hits hard all at once, while etizolam is closer to alcohol in terms of giving you a buzz and a wobble but not necessarily making you sleepy. Too much alprazolam and you will be napping for a few hours, you will pretty much just drop to sleep. Too much etizolam and you just talk your face off and act like a twat - so, as I said, similar to alcohol.

Alprazolam = stoned, lobotomised zombie. Etizolam = bit of a buzzed up pisshead.

Diazepam of course has more prevalent muscle relaxant effects. You won't get that same kind of body high from alprazolam. Alprazolam will also fuck with your memory more than diazepam, but IME no more than etizolam.

Duration of action

This gets its own section because I think it's very important. Alprazolam actually has a half-life of 11 hours, longer than etizolam's 8 hours but much less than diazepam's ~100 odd hours.

However, the recreational effects of alprazolam are very short acting. Expect just a few hours of being monged out. This does NOT mean that the drug itself is out of your system or inactive. In fact, although you won't be mashed, you will still experience minor impairment (even if you don't notice it) and the anti-anxiety effects will still be working for you. This is opposed to etizolam and diazepam which you can pretty much feel fully all day.

This is a double edged sword. On one hand it makes alprazolam a surprisingly functional benzo at low therapeutic doses since most of the effect is purely functional, almost pyrazolam-like. But on the other hand, those using this just to get off their tits will of course feel the impulse to keep redosing once the recreational effects wear off. The drug will build up in your system and either you'll black out or fall asleep for 12 hours or both. Try to avoid doing this, please.

Usefulness for anxiety

If like me you like benzos primarily for their anxiolytic properties, you simply cannot go wrong with alprazolam. It smashes any anxiety on its fucking head. For both general anxiety and full on panic attacks, it is excellent. Unlike most benzos it also provides a sense of clarity into the thoughts that cause anxiety too, which I find very interesting. By this I mean that most benzos simply distract from anxiety. Alprazolam lets you look at your anxiety head on and tell it that it's stupid. I'm not sure about anyone else but I found that fucking amazing.

It also kicks in much quicker than either diazepam or etizolam making it again a very ideal choice for panic attacks where you need relief ASAP. You will feel it within 20 minutes, or almost instantly sublingually.

Conclusion

Xanax is a bloody nice benzo. A very different beast to etizolam and surprisingly similar to diazepam in many ways despite being much shorter acting and more potent.

But I can also see how people get in trouble with the stuff. If you use benzos recreationally you will feel a big temptation to redose every few hours. It'd essentially end up like benzo crack. I highly recommend avoiding using it like this, not least because the 11 hour half-life means the drug is still very much in your system even if you don't feel high from it and you'll push your tolerance up and make yourself much more likely to become dependent.

However, used sensibly, it is a great tool and an all-round very nice substance. It is disappointing that it's virtually impossible to get a legitimate prescription here as it is bloody excellent for handling anxiety.

I encourage others to add their own thoughts and perhaps we can make this a mega-thread of sorts, for people who happen to come across this on Google so they get POVs from multiple users. As I said everyone reacts to drugs differently. More views is more balance and more harm reduction info.
Who the fuck is Psychoactive Substances Bill and why is he taking all my drugs?
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#2
I don't tend to get much of an urge to redose, 1-2mg and I'm relaxed as fuuuuck for hours. It also makes me chatty as fuck with absolutely no filter. I had the bars once and they fucked me up good lol 3 day black out, almost set my kitchen on fire, hid the bars, never found them again  lol Totally underestimated the strength of them.
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#3
Exactly whats been said above. Alprazolam is potent as feck benzo. A heroic dose is pretty small for most folk and will certainly lead to black out and/or sleep pretty swiftly. It hits pretty hard and fast. Therapeutically good for panic attacks.

Personally Ive found it a really nice benzo, almost too nice. Imho potential for abuse is quite high. Ive found found it quite fiendish, not necessarily that I would fiend it all in a day, I couldnt as I would fall asleep first. Its more that when its there I want to eat it because to me it feels nice, warm and social at sensible dose. My preferred dose would be 1-2mg but advise others to start at 0.5mg if unused to alprazolam.

All in all a nice benzo but the type of benzo that can get a grip of you quickly so highly advise keeping close tabs on usage and avoud using it for consectutive days too often.

As mentioned above too, trust your source. Anything that looks like a shitty press......avoid it. The proper bars are pretty well pressed.
"To know that you do not know is the best.To think you know when you do not is a disease.Recognizing this disease as a disease is to be free of it.” ― Lao Tzu
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#4
Always always keep a diary of your usage. Very important with any benzo but especially with Xanax. Way too easy to forget just how much you're taking otherwise. There's definitely a compulsive redose element to consider here.
Who the fuck is Psychoactive Substances Bill and why is he taking all my drugs?
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#5
(20-06-2016, 11:53 PM)WeAreScientists Wrote: Always always keep a diary of your usage. Very important with any benzo but especially with Xanax. Way too easy to forget just how much you're taking otherwise. There's definitely a compulsive redose element to consider here.
Like anyone's going to do that  lol
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#6
I do mate. It's easy, just when you take something make a note on your phone right then. Take an Etizest? Put "Monday: 1mg etizolam at [current time]" in your phone. Takes like five seconds. Take another dose just add "another 1mg at [whatever time it is now]."
Who the fuck is Psychoactive Substances Bill and why is he taking all my drugs?
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#7
(21-06-2016, 12:17 AM)WeAreScientists Wrote: I do mate. It's easy, just when you take something make a note on your phone right then. Take an Etizest? Put "Monday: 1mg etizolam at [current time]" in your phone. Takes like five seconds. Take another dose just add "another 1mg at [whatever time it is now]."

That might work. But given the potency, recreational potential, urge to redose, and extremely fast onset of xanax, there's also a high chance that it'll quickly become unintelligible. Then the risk of letting your contacts know you've gone full bartard.
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#8
Well the idea is that you look at your phone and go "shit, I've had enough" then put the rest down. If you still have an urge to redose smoke some weed or something instead.

Interestingly I seem to fall asleep before I ever have the chance to become a blacked out bartard in any case which is a blessing. But you can definitely see where the term bartard comes from, you turn into a zombie and start walking into walls and all sorts of shit if you take 2mg+. I just end up taking a nap before I actually do anything stupid, and while my memory gets spotty I never fully blacked out.

Now mixing this stuff with alcohol... that seriously would fuck you up in a bad way. I wouldn't even chance that at a low dose in all honesty.
Who the fuck is Psychoactive Substances Bill and why is he taking all my drugs?
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#9
Yup defo dont mix alprazolam with alcohol. A relatively low amount of both will lead to doing stoopid stuff and blackout.

About a year ago I was taking alprazolam for anxiety issues. Had taken 1mg in the morning around 7.30am then my final daily dose around 4pm. Then a friend called I hadnt seen for a while to ask if I wanted to grab a bite to eat. I had 3 pints (I know this only because he told me) with some pub food. Proceeded to walk around the pub like a zombie. On the inside I felt great but from the outside he assures me I was completely gone with the fairies. He got me home in a taxi around 8pm and my missus had to remove/wrestle the alprazolam from me to stop me redosing whilst I wondered around bumping into things and growling mumbo jumbo.

Woke up the next day and didnt even remember being out for eats the day before. If I hadnt had two babysitters that day I most certainly would have had the potential for crazy shit to happen. Was covered in bruises but just felt numb.
"To know that you do not know is the best.To think you know when you do not is a disease.Recognizing this disease as a disease is to be free of it.” ― Lao Tzu
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#10
That's all well and good if you're taking Xanax therapeutically but recreationally you're flirting between the lines of being high and being fucked up on a drug that is notorious for greatly decreasing inhibitions, so for most people even doing that won't make a difference because they'll just look at their phone and say "fuck it just one more".

Don't even drink alcohol the next day  lol You still get very fucked up on a relatively small amount of booze, like 4 or 5 beers or a quarter bottle of vodka.
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