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Children being treated for problems with Xanax has increased more than 6 times since last year

Published on 10/12/18 at 11:08am
Image Credit: Gotgot44

The number of children being treated for problems with benzodiazepine drugs – which include prescription medicines Xanax and Valium – has almost doubled since last year.

Meanwhile the number of children being treated for problems with alprazolam – sold under the brand name Xanax – has increased by more than six times since 2016-17.

The number of children being treated for substance abuse problems related to the sedative, anti-anxiety drugs increased from 161 in 2016-17 to 315 in 2017-18. The number of children being treated for problems related to Xanax saw the sharpest rise, as the number increased from 8 in 2016-17 to 53 the following year.

While the drugs are prescribed for patients suffering from anxiety or panic attacks, benzodiazepines have become increasingly popular for recreational purposes. The rise in use coincides with the so-called age of anxiety which has seen a variety of factors including economic struggle, political disarray, social media and climate change induce increased anxiety among children and young people.

Ambulance services have also reported a growing problem related to the misuse of benzodiazepine drugs. However there was a 5% decrease in the number of children in specialist substance misuse services overall down from 16,436 in 2016-17 to 15,583 in 2017-18. 46% of those using the specialist services were being treated for issues related to misuse of alcohol while 88% said they had a problem with cannabis.

Louis Goss

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