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'We need answers on Xanax': Mother of Georgia Jackson demands investigation into powerful anti-anxiety drug

The mother of a young student whose death has been strongly linked to Xanax has demanded an investigation into the rapidly growing use of the powerful anti-anxiety drug.

Georgia Jackson, 21, described by her family as a "unique girl with a brilliant sense of humour", took her own life in December 2017, two days after using the drug.

A coroner said that Xanax was a significant factor in the Brighton University student's death and warned of the "pernicious influence" of the drug, which is fast emerging as the "cult" drug of choice among teenagers and young adults.

Speaking about her daughter’s death, Cherry Jackson told ITV News that she needed to know more about the drug and its potentially catastrophic impact on Georgia and others before she can accept the coroner's verdict.

"We don't know enough," she said. "I'd be interested in hearing how many other deaths there have been and the number taking their own life after taking Xanax - I'd like to know."

Robin Smart, Georgia's stepfather, added: "Georgia made a conscious decision to take Xanax and if it contributed towards her not being here today then we do need to find out more about what this drug is about."

Cherry Jackson and Robin Smart are desperate for answers. Credit: ITV News

The inquest process is still a source of huge frustration to the Jackson family, who are still desperate for some clarity on what exact role Xanax played in their daughter's death.

"Even the expert on drugs at the inquest, his answers on Xanax were all Googled," Georgia's stepfather Robin said. "It was the exact wording - we learnt more from the student who sold her it."

Their search for answers prompted Cherry to contact the drug dealer who sold Georgia the drug.

"I sent him a message on Facebook and asked him how strong they were, what they do, how they work. He was very apologetic after we told him we'd lost Georgia and offered to meet me.

"He was devastated if that played a part. The toxicology report said it was minimal so we just don't know what to think about Xanax. He explained how strong they are and what they do."

Georgia's phone records suggested she took Xanax to self-medicate against her symptoms of depression and anxiety. Credit: Jackson family

Georgia, who also had ADHD, had indicated in phone messages to a friend that she was considering using Xanax to self-medicate against her symptoms of depression and anxiety.

"Georgia said she was anxious about these assignments and was thinking about buying Xanax and she didn't want anybody to know. The friend suggested they buy five together."

"We found another message on her phone saying she didn't feel much, didn't feel anything and that was probably a sign that she was going into a depression."

Addressing others considering the drug to alleviate their symptoms, Cherry said: "People need to be getting help for their mental health another way and not self-medicating."

Cherry and Robin are now determined not to allow Georgia's name to be forever associated with Xanax amid anger over media coverage of her death.

"We want to get the truth out about Georgia. She wasn't just a 'party girl' as she's been painted in the papers. There is more to Georgia than that - it's wrong."

Georgia's family want her to be remembered for her sense of humour and her love for her friends and family. Credit: Jackson family

They want Georgia to be remembered as someone who charmed whoever she met through her humour, affection for her family and friends, and her intense love of Arsenal Football Club.

The family are planning a Summer football match in Georgia's memory in their hometown of Sawbridgeworth to raise money for the charity Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide.

Describing her loss in uninhibited detail, Cherry said: "My heart hurts so much - I just can't believe she won't walk through the door. Every day I wake up, it's like a punch in the stomach.

"She's just so missed. So many people have been affected by her not being in our life anymore. She was so special to so many people."

"I just don't want her death to be in vain - it must help someone else to share their feelings."