“It’s totally destroyed us.”

Those are the words of a heartbroken mother who lost her young son just days before Christmas to an overdose of pain medication.

Aaron Wells, 21, of Roewood Road, Holbury, was found dead in bed the day after he returned home from university to spend Christmas with his family.

In an inquest held yesterday, it was ruled by a coroner that Mr Wells had died of a drugs overdose.

Mr Wells had been attending university in Essex, when he started taking Xanax - a medication used to treat panic and anxiety disorders - according to his friends.

It is understood that the 21-year-old started taking the drug recreationally in a bid to treat the anxiety and stress he was feeling following his dad becoming ill and falling into financial difficulties while at university.

Daily Echo:

Mr Wells kept his internal battles to himself, and did not reach out to help from his family or peers.

On December 19, Mr Wells returned home for university and met up with friends to go on a night out.

He returned home in the early hours of December 20 and spoke with his father about how he was feeling for a few hours.

It is understood that at some point that morning, Mr Wells took strong pain killers he had found in the house before heading off to bed.

Sadly, Mr Wells stopped breathing in his sleep.

His mother Lorna checked on him, the hearing was told, and at 8pm on December 20 found him unresponsive and not breathing.

Paramedics were called to the home in Roewood Way but they were unable to revive him and he died a short time later.

Police found pain tablets around the students bed, and Tony Wells - Aaron’s father - told how he had noticed that the level of oramorph in his bottle had gone down, and at the time was unable to explain where it had gone.

Mr Wells’s cause of death was reported as a drugs overdose and bronchopneumonia.

Friends of Mr Wells described him as an “outgoing and very friendly” adding that he was “great fun to be around” and loved football.

His mum, Lorna Wells, said: “It’s totally destroyed us. He is not a statistic, he is my baby. He will always be my sweet baby boy. Nothing will ever make this easier. I will never get over what has happened.”