Right at Home’s Central London franchise is calling for online sales of the anxiety drug Xanax to be banned due to its “highly addictive” properties and “risk to thousands of lives”.
Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine tranquiliser commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic attacks. It has a calming effect on users.
But the Right at Home branch, which runs an Addiction Recovery Support service, has warned that the drug has long-term addictive properties and can be easily bought online.
The provider is now calling on members of the public to sign its online petition to ban unregulated sales of the drug.
It hopes to gain 10,000 signatures so that it can demand a government response to the problem.
Bryan McMorrine, managing director at Right at Home Central London, said: “Xanax’s easy availability on the internet without prescription has sparked our action to try to get web sales without prescription better monitored or banned in the UK. Vulnerable teenagers and adults must be better protected from this highly addictive drug.”
In the UK, the NHS does not prescribe Xanax and due to its unregulated state, it is unknown how many people order Xanax online, but the UK is estimated to purchase 20% of all Xanax sales on the web, according to Right at Home.
More worrying is the dangers of misusing the drug, with a BBC report linking at least 204 deaths to Xanax misuse since 2015.
McMorrine added: “Improved tracking of Xanax sales is another part of our campaign. There is at present no regulatory body or government law that prohibits the online purchase by anyone with access to a credit card of this dangerous drug. We believe it is the duty of the government to bring attention and find solution to this threat.”