10/05/2017 12:14 BST

Wiltshire Police Issue Warnings About Teens Using Prescription Drug Xanax

20 teenagers in Salisbury were left needing medical treatment.

Police have issued warnings about a prescription drug “as addictive as heroin” after 20 teenagers in the same city were left needing medical treatment. 

Wiltshire Police urged parents to talk to their children about the dangers of taking drugs not prescribed to them after they revealed teens in Salisbury were “deliberately risking their health” by taking Xanax. 

Prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety disorders, Xanax can cause cardiac and respiratory problems. It can also lead to headaches, vertigo and can slow the heart rate down to “dangerous levels”. 

Wiltshire Police
Police have issued warnings about teens using Xanax 

A 15-year-old has since been arrested on suspicion of supplying the Class C drug. He was taken into custody for questioning before being released under investigation. 

All of the teenagers affected by the drug in Salisbury - thought to be aged between 15 and 16 and from several local schools - have now recovered. 

Inspector Pete Sparrow said the incidents have left police “concerned”. 

“This drug is reported to be as addictive as heroin and has been linked to placing users at risk of significant harm and vulnerability,” he said.

“It is being sold through illegitimate sources at very low prices, making this attractive to young impressionable children.

“As a parent myself, I think it is my duty to talk to my children on this subject and alert them to the risks and consequences.” 

Wiltshire Council has urged teens in the area to contact the local drugs and alcohol service Motiv8 if they have any concerns. 

Need friendly, confidential advice on drugs? Contact FRANK on 0300 123 6600 or visit the website for alternative contact methods.