Police have issued a vital warning after the supply of a toxic prescription drug put three people in hospital this weekend.

South Flintshire Inspector Darren Whibberley, of North Wales Police, is urging residents to keep their wits about them when it comes to drugs - even ones which can be available on prescription.

He told the Leader: "Over night, on Saturday, March 3, we were present at an address in Mold and at that time a substance had been consumed that had adverse effects on three persons, all of whom were subsequently hospitalised.

"At this time, we suspect that a prescription drug commonly known as Xanax had been consumed. This is the proprietary drug of Alprazolam, a prescription drug we understand is not commonly prescribed by the NHS due to its potency.

"A 22 year old male has been identified as being named responsible and has been arrested, and magic mushrooms, along with phones and laptops, have been seized which will be subsequently analysed.

"Although it is legal to posses Xanax for personal use, it is illegal to supply it other than under the legitimate health routes.

"Those impacted had no lasting health damage, but one of the affected was placed in an induced coma too monitor his condition but is now no longer in that state.

"Public Health Wales have been made aware and the investigation is ongoing."

"If you believe you have consumed Xanax, contact the ambulance service as soon as possible.

Xanax is commonly used to treat anxiety and is a sedative public health boards veer from due to its toxicity, but the Class C drug is still available through private medical organisations or even through "the dark web or similar websites," said Insp Whibberley.

It is considered to be 20 times more potent than common anxiety drug Diazepam, but as any improper drug supply, Insp Whibberley is also concerned that there "could be anything" in the mixture, including cement powder, talc and Fentanyl, another extremely dangerous drug.

Insp Whibberley harkens back to the shocking number of celebrity suicides in 2016 and 2017 which have been linked to Xanax, and hope these high-profile deaths alert Flintshire residents to the damage it can cause following this weekend's horror.

He said: "People using it may believe its legal status to posses it on prescription somehow legitimises the use of it. However, let's be clear it is an extremely dangerous drug to play with and if obtained through illegitimate means, there is no way of knowing exactly what it is or what is in it."

Police and ambulance services were required to wear special protective clothing and equipment to prevent harm to themselves, as Xanax can be absorbed through the skin and possibly through breath.

Anyone with information on Xanax, or any other drug, should contact the Safer Neighbourhoods Unit at Mold Police Station.