POLICE are warning youngsters to stay away from prescription drugs after a group of teenagers were admitted to hospital.

Recreational drugs including MDMA, Xanax and cocaine are being dealt to people around the South Cumbria, Carnforth and North Lancashire area, police said.

The teenagers were hospitalised after buying and taking Xanax, an anxiety-related drug which should not be consumed with alcohol or when not prescribed.

Xanax is indicated for the short-term treatment of moderate or severe anxiety states and anxiety associated with depression. It is only indicated when the disorder is severe, disabling or subjecting the individual to extreme distress.

The tablets are white, oval and biconvex which are scored on one side and marked "Upjohn 29" on the other. They are also available in a generic form under the name alprazolam.

Sergeant Lindsay Brown from Morecambe Police said: “This is an ongoing investigation between Lancashire Police, Cumbria Police and British Transport Police.

“Searches were carried out but those taken to hospital came from the Kendal area.

“There have not been any issues in the Lancaster or Morecambe area but those dealing the drugs could be using the transport system.

“ There is no issue with taking Xanax unless you mix it with alcohol which can cause an adverse reaction.

“If you have any information about drugs being dealt in the area please contact Lancashire police on 101 quoting crime reference 1270 of October 20.”

Cumbria Police said four boys aged 14-15, from the Kendal area, were admitted to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on Friday night, after taking Xanax. They have since been released from hospital.

A 16-year-old man from Burton-in-Kendal was arrested on suspicion of the supply of Class C controlled drugs. He has been released under investigation.