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My poor son's unfortunate experience with Xanax? It killed him; FURY OVER DRUG COMPANY'S SURVEYMum's outrage after firm sends her letter asking for information on overdose.

Byline: Craig McDonald

A mum whose son died after taking "zombie drug" Xanax received a letter from its manufacturer asking for her thoughts on his "unfortunate experiences" with the tablet. Anne McDermott said the questionnaire - sent to her by Pfizer - was "cold and insensitive".

The three-page template document described the "event experienced" by Scott McDermott, who died in January last year, as a "fatal overdose".

It then asked Anne, 61, to tick a box on whether her son is "fine now" or "still experiencing".

Scott, 35, died after taking a cocktail of drugs including Xanax, which is a brand name for alprazolam.

Anne, of Edinburgh, said her son had fought addiction for many years but had never overdosed until he took Xanax.

She believes that abuse of the drug - linked to the deaths of singer Whitney Houston and actor Heath Ledger - is at epidemic levels.

The 61-year-old said: "Pfizer called me and said they were aware of Scott's case from the media and asked if they could send me a letter with some questions.

"I'm not exactly clear about what they're after and I thought the wording was inappropriate.

"It's obviously something they send out to a lot of people but they should have given it a bit more thought. It also asked for things like the batch number, which obviously I've no idea about.

"As far as I know, there's a lot of Xanax circulating in Scotland, especially in Edinburgh."

The questionnaire from Pfizer included a covering letter which stated: "We are contacting you regarding your son's unfortunate experiences with Xanax."

It added: "We are always interested in learning about the use of our products for the purpose of monitoring their safety and administration."

Sunday www.sundaymail.co.uk web GRIEVING MUM'S PLEA OVER SHOCK FIGURES And It's an epidemic.

the number of victims MISSED Joe Jackson will just go up and DOCTOR'S WARNING www.sundaymail.co.uk web Jacksons in tribute to late dad Joe The Jacksons made an emotional tribute to their father at their first UK gig since his death.

| Craig McDonald promo Stuart Hogg A GP who has spent his career on the frontline of Scotland's heroin problems."ays he expects more deaths to be linked to a sedative branded a "zombie drug".

call for ACTION Mum Anne. Right, our story on Xanax warning Main pic David McNie Addiction expert Dr Roy Robertsonbelieves there will be a rising number of fataloverdoses associated with the misuse of Xanax - a brand name for a powerful tranquilliser called alprazolam.

We revealed last year that there had been a 4800 per cent increase in fatalities linked to the drug. The number of deaths in which the drug was implicated annually has risen from two to 98 in Video has rugby ace Hogg in stitches Rugby star Stuart Hogg has teamed up with his dad for a video promoting the knitwear firm where he had his first paid job.The Glasgow Warri ors full-back, 25, had a summer job with 220-year-old Johnstons of Elgin in the warehouse at their factory in Hawick, Roxburghshire, after leaving school. But the lure of rugby proved too much and he soon quit to concentrate on the sport full-time.

It is feared the drug is responsible for four deaths in the Lothian area since the start of they'r.

Now Dr Robertson - whose research led to Edinburgh." being dubbed Europe's Aids capital after he linked the illness to dirty needles - said drug workers are seeing more evidence of Xanax being abused.

He said: "We're experiencing quite a lot of reports of Xanax in south and east Scotland. Colleagues in the west say the same.

Scotland and British and Irish Lions star Hogg said: "I did enjoy the experience.

The Motown legends were playing at ScotFest in Edinburgh when they thanked all their fans for the support they had received after Joe Jackson's passing last month.

"Just that little taste made me want to go and work hard.

We're zombie nightmare "The source is always obscure and police reports are often as good as the information gets. Alprazolam, or Xanax, has a sedative and calming action and, taken in prescribed level, does exactly this. "mixed with other drugs , it is clearly dangerous and I expect we will see mentions of Xanax on death certificates as the year goes on.

"It was that year that I really got the rugby bug and wanted to go and do something special.

"It was fortunate dad was the b oss man and I ended up going to a rugby camp for a week."

"Taken in largerdoses, it sedates to the level of unconsciousness.

His dad John has worked at Johnstons for 20 years and both of them feature in the video "The Hoggs - Two Stories Knitted Together".

The video promotes the knitwear industry and their home town of Hawick.

druGs liNk Houston and, top, Ledger Marlon Jackson said how grateful they were for all the sympathy they had received.

"People become disorientated and often have quite profound amnesia for the time of intoxication, while others have, paradoxically, an agitated state with confusion."

Hogg said: "There's nothing to know about cashmere that dad doesn't know.

"He's up before the birds every morning. It makes me feel proud."

Dr Rob ertson's work in Edinburgh."'s Muirhouse estate inspired the film Trainspotting.

fears Robertson.

He is also a professor of addiction medicine at Edinburgh." University and still runs the Muirhouse Medic al Group in one of the capital's most-deprived schemes.

He added: "We want to thank you all for the support and prayers as we lost our father last week.

Hair hope fries away Japanese scientists warn that eating chips will not cure baldness after claims a chemical used in frying spuds could prevent hair loss. Yokohama National University experts grew clusters of follicle germs, which produce hair, with the aid of dimethylpolysiloxane, used in cooking oil.But they say no amount of fries will help grow more hair. One in three frisky OAPs have jumped into bed with a first date while more than half - 52 per cent - complain they have too little sex, say charity Independent Age.

We told earlier this month how Scott McDermott, 35, died when he took Xanax. His mum Anne McDermott believes misuse of the drug - linked to the deaths of singer Whitney Houston and actor Heath Ledger - has caused more deaths in the area.Dr Robertson was Scott's GP.Anne, 60, said: "I'm pleased Dr Robertson is speaking on this issue as I'm aware of the work he has done at the sharp end of drug abuse.

OAPs in sex plea "Scotthad been a "He was the strength behind the Jackson 5 and was the creator of the Jackson 5. "We know he's looking down on us proud tonight." During the speech, the 61-year-old sounded extremely emotional as he paid homage to his father.

Joe Jackson died at the age of 89 after a battle with cancer.

Warning as deaths linked to drug soars 5000 per cent The group were the headline act of the ScotFest festival which also included appearances from S Club, 911 and the Bay City Rollers.

| Craig McDonald last year - representing an increase of 4800 per cent over two years.

The latter also paid tribute to their late member Alan Longmuir who died on Monday, aged 70.

The mum of a man whose death was linked to controversial tranquiliser Xanax has branded a 5000 per cent increase in fatalities linked to the drug as "catastrophic".

Anne said: "Scott had been a drug addict since he was 17 and was addicted to heroin. But I'm in no doubt it was Xanax that caused his death. Scott never overdosed, then Singer Les McKeown showed a picture of the pair in which the drug two years. No fatalities cited alprazolam orXanaxas a cause or potential cause of death in Scotland in 2014 before two were recorded the following year. The number rose to 24 in 2016 and 98 in 2017.

Anne said: "Use of Xanax is at epidemic level. We need some kind of urgent, decisive action..

"Scotthad been a drug addict since he was 17 and was hooked on heroin. But I'm in no doubt it wasXanaxthat caused his death.Scotthad never overdosed - then this drug comes along and he dies."

Xanaxis a class C controlled drug but can be bought in vast quantities online.

It has been branded a "zombie drug" because high quantities leave users dazed. It is used to treat severe anxiety or stress and can be lethal when mixed with other drugs or alcohol.

Addiction expert Dr Roy Robertson, who was Scott's GP, said: "Alprazolam has been a phenomenon in the east of Scotland for the past two years and has caused a lot of problems."

Pfizer said: "We apologise for the way in which the death was referred to in the correspondence. We are keen to ensure this does not happen again and have committed to reviewing our processes."

CAPTION(S):

RISKS Xanax

Beached whales Six minke whales were found dead on Scottish beaches last month. The Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme said they were the second most commonly reported cetacean that had beached in June. There were a total of 51 stranding reports during the month - 18 seals and 33 cetaceans, including 20 harbour porpoises. Becky Lee Birtwhistle Hodges, from Cornwall, is to be the first transgender angler to represent her A fishing first showed a picture of the pair of them on screen while paying tribute to the creator of the band. as "catastrophic". The was implicated from We McDermott, January cocktail including name His Edinburgh.", of Xanax deaths Houston Ledger epidemic are are nothing especially kind discussion PLEA Our story on Anne's fears last year

Anne with questionnaire sent to her by Pfizer. letter from the drugs firm. Main picture David McNie

MISSED Anne's son Scott, who died from a drugs overdose
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 10, 2019
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