San Diego police: 3 juveniles overdose on Xanax

Posted at 7:16 PM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-23 17:14:59-04

Overdoses suffered by three Carmel Valley juveniles while abusing a prescription antidepressant were under investigation Friday, authorities reported.

The youths were stricken and hospitalized after taking Xanax on Thursday, according to police. Their conditions and ages were withheld.

No arrests were announced.

Xanax, a trade name for the tranquilizer alprazolam, is prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders caused by depression.

Police are urging parents to know the signs of abuse.

"Teenagers think if it's a prescription, it's ok," said Nancy Knott, a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in addiction.

She doesn't know the juveniles who overdosed, but she says Xanax can be a dangerous drug; especially when mixed with alcohol.

"Xanax is one of the most over prescribed drugs out there and it's in many many medicine cabinets, and I don't know if everybody is aware of how highly addictive that is," said Knott.

Police haven't released the ages of the kids involved or their conditions. Knott said an overdose can cause irreversible brain damage.

"Depending on weight, depending on a lot of different factors, where's the overdose point? The overdose point is when they lose consciousness."

Cole Chodorow is a junior at Torrey Pines High School. He said Xanax isn't a big problem on campus.

"As far as I know, it's not the new up and coming thing. I think some kids just got their hands on it and went wild," said Chodorow.

Police haven't said where the juveniles who overdosed attend school.

Knott said parents should be aware of the symptoms of abuse.

"What you'd be seeing is more of a depressed affect. More of a going to sleep type of affect. Again, it's a downer," said Knott.

Xanax is a commonly prescribed drug used to treat anxiety and panic attacks.