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11 SoCal middle schoolers hospitalized after sharing Xanax

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Eleven students at a middle school in Southern California, some as young as 11, were hospitalized Monday after taking prescription anti-anxiety pills, according to school officials.

“Someone brought some pills to school and shared them with others and they (the students) were lethargic, tired, and out of it,” said Deidra Powell, chief communications officer with the Santa Ana Unified School District.

Officials at McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana became alarmed after the students trickled into the nurse’s office over the course of three hours during the school day. The school called the children’s parents immediately and sent a message to all parents about the incident.

Powell said they were not aware that the pills were Xanax, a prescription anti-anxiety medication, until after the students were hospitalized.

The school said it would provide some drug prevention training Tuesday to the students — nine girls and two boys, ages 11 to 14.

According to safety information on the drug’s website, Xanax “can make you sleepy or dizzy, and can slow your thinking and motor skills.”

School police are continuing their investigation into the source of the pills. Powell said the students involved are not part of the same social group. School was in session as usual on Tuesday.