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Specialists at UK Addiction Treatment (UKAT) say one in five of their admissions are Xanax addicts who purchase tablets from illegal street dealers.
The group – which runs rehab services and addiction centres across the country – also say they have to arrange hospital treatment for up to three of these addicts a month.
Xanax is the brand name for Alprazolam, a prescription drug from the benzodiazepine family, which is normally used to treat anxiety or panic attacks.
It is 20 times stronger than Diazepam.
UKAT’s Nuno Albuquerque said: “We’re seeing a stark rise in the number of calls from Xanax addicts.
“But for the first time ever, we’re unable to help them all, simply because the best thing for some of these people is immediate hospitalisation.”
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