New figures reveal the rise of “generation Xanax” – with a doubling in young people being treated for addiction to anti-anxiety drugs.
The statistics from Public Health England show 315 cases in which those under the age of 18 were treated for problems with benzodiazepines – a class of drugs used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
They include the drug Alprazolam (better known as Xanax) where there was a six-fold rise in numbers treated.
Latest NHS figures suggest one in eight children has a mental health disorder, amid warnings of an “epidemic of anxiety”.
Earlier this year an investigation found pupils as young as 11 were taking anti-anxiety drugs, with 240 ambulance callouts for children who had taken medication like Xanax.
Charities claimed some pupils were dealing it on school premises.