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Generation Xanax : doubling in children being treated for addiction

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.