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Xanax: Treatment for addiction rises sharply in children

04:35 Fri Dec 07, 2018


Xanax slows down the functions of the brain, but serious side-effects can occur

Taken from/By: BBC News
Report by: BBC News

The number of children being treated for addiction to tranquilisers has doubled in a year, to more than 300, according to Public Health England.

The drug Xanax, and copies of it, accounted for the sharpest rise – from eight children receiving treatment in 2016-17 to 53 in 2017-18.

Ambulance services around the country have also reported a growing problem.

In 2017-18, more than 15,500 children had help for substance misuse, 88% for cannabis.

The total number receiving treatment was 5% down on the previous year,

What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name for the drug alprazolam, a benzodiazepine prescribed for anxiety or panic attacks. But many of the pills taken by children are copies bought online, with no indication of their strength or whether they have been adulterated.

What are the effects of benzodiazepines?

UK Addiction Treatment group psychiatrist Dr Durrani says: "Benzos work by literally slowing down the functions of the brain, acting as a leveller in times of high stress, over-excitement or anxiety.

“Serious side-effects can occur, including slurring words or even total blackouts.

“We’re seeing more and more people admitting themselves after becoming addicted to benzos.

“In most cases, their misuse stemmed from using the drug recreationally at parties and mixing it with alcohol, which proves a toxic combination.”



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