Xanxiety
Producer / Director / Camera / Original Score

The US prescription med, Xanax has been influential in the recent wave of sad rap. With infamous rapper, Lil Pump, cutting a Xanax cake after reaching 1 million followers on Instagram. Since 21 year old rapper, Lil Peep died from a suspected Xanax related overdose, many US artists are denouncing Xan culture. But is this too late as fake versions of the highly addictive drug grip the UK? While fake versions of the desirable XANAX printed bars are appearing in selfies on social media with #bartard and #xanman in the captions, the addictive nature of this psychiatric medication is usually disregarded in comparison to drugs with higher classification, despite withdrawal symptoms including seizures and psychosis. As the numbing quality of fake Xanax becomes more popular amongst anxious mobile-first teens, is this the age old argument of blaming artists for drug culture? Or is there a more serious issue with mental health among young people? From dealers selling counterfeit Xanax on social media, to addicted college kids and Soundcloud rappers with face tattoos, VICE speaks to the next generation self-medicating with fake versions of the anti-anxiety drug, amidst underfunded mental health services for young people in the UK.