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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Barrow overdose death leads to coroner’s drug call

A BARROW man died after taking unprescribed drugs, an inquest has found.

Wayne Doran, 30, of Holker Street, was found lying face down on a bed in his underwear.

His body was discovered by Danielle Charnley on June 6 in a house in McAdam Street.

An inquest at Barrow Town Hall heard a high concentration of methadone was found in Mr Doran’s blood, and that he had overdosed on the drug.

A police search of the property discovered two empty brown bottles without labels.

Mr Ian Smith, coroner for South Cumbria, said Mr Doran died as a result of abusing drugs and stopped breathing in his sleep.

He said: “After taking these drugs, in effect the person goes to sleep and the breathing can just stop. I am convinced that [Mr Doran] took the methadone voluntarily. There was no force.

“I think he did it knowing what he was doing, but perhaps not aware of what the consequences might be.

“There were traces of other drugs in Wayne’s blood that would make the effect of methadone worse.”

DC Scott Elliott, of Barrow CID, said an investigation into how the drugs came into Mr Doran’s possession was ongoing, and that an arrest had been made.

He said: “The labels (of the bottles) were removed but, from our experience, we believed they contained methadone.”

A post mortem found a fatal level of methadone was in Mr Doran’s blood. Mr Smith issued a warning, saying health authorities which supply methadone to patients are often allowing people to take the drug home, rather than carrying out supervised consumption.

He said more people were getting hold of the drugs because of this, with some selling them to users.

Mr Smith said: “Methadone is used to help people get off other drugs like heroin, but it actually kills more people.

“I believe (health authorities) should tighten up and only allow the consumption of methadone on the premises.

“I have noticed an increase over the past two or three years of cases when consumption has not taken place as it should.

“I can’t make (the authorities) do anything but I hope the way methadone is prescribed is tightened up.”

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