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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Barrow drug user died after overdose - inquest

A DRUG addict died following an overdose on heroin and a prescribed heroin substitute.

The inquest into the death of Paul Anthony Woolveridge heard he was found dead on the sofa in his Greenhill Close home in Ormsgill, Barrow, on July 11 2013.

The hearing in Barrow Town Hall was told the 40-year-old had methadone and heroin in his system, with both at a level that could have killed him. He had also taken diazepam.

Mr Ian Smith, South and East Cumbria coroner, recorded a verdict of death by abuse of drugs.

Members of Mr Woolveridge’s family attended the hearing and suggested they believed there may have been some suspicious circumstances.

But Mr Smith was satisfied that was not the case. He told the hearing: “I’m completely convinced he took them for their effects and very suddenly overdosed.

“The family have asked a number of questions which seem to throw some doubt on their view of what happened. There was no third party. What happened happened because he decided, of his own volition, to take drugs and he paid the ultimate price for it.

“When you take drugs you don’t know the strength or purity and he overdosed very badly indeed on this particular occasion.”

Detective Constable Sarah McArthur investigated the death and spoke to the family to gather background information about Mr Woolveridge following his death. She told the hearing that officers were called to his home and found him lying on the sofa with two blister packs of tablets on the floor.

She said one ring on the gas cooker was turned on, but officers believed he had turned it on before going to sleep and did not suspect any foul play.

They investigated the source of the drugs through his mobile but to no avail.

Nicola Duke, who knew Mr Woolveridge for 15 years, told the hearing she last saw him alive when she left his house around 3.40am on the day of his death.

She confirmed he had a drug habit, but said: “He had been in a better state than other times when I had seen him.”

Have your say

I feel really saddened reading this as Paul is my brother fair enough I know Paul tuck drugs he also had good time's in his life where it's just a pity he didn't get a chance in life too tell why he went like that he as well as myself have been let down by the system Paul had a massive heart I truly miss him dearly.

Posted by Tracy Woolveridge on 5 March 2015 at 16:02

Methadone and Heroin abuse is awful, my condolences to his family, but its time now for stricter methadone control and short term use or rehab is best for this horrible prescribed drug, some addicts are on this for years it would be interesting to see CADAS publish their success rates. I believe they are not fit for purpose.And yes i know what i am talking about.

Posted by Anon on 3 March 2014 at 14:43

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