THE death of a 25-year-old man will leave a 'hole' in lives of those who knew him, a coroner has said.

Craig Smith ruled that Barrow man Joshua Reay died a drug-related in death in hospital two days after taking substances at a friend's house.

A hearing at Cockermouth Coroner's Court was told that Mr Reay, a roofer, died at Furness General Hospital on January 22.

The court heard he had previously visited the home of friend Kelly Kenrick where they had watched a film and eaten a takeaway.

Mr Reay was said to have taken a number of Valium tablets on the night.

In a statement his friend said she fell asleep around 11pm and woke up just before 5am to go to the toilet.

She said she came back to find him in bed and heard a 'gurgling noise'.

"I keep thinking about that morning and wish I had not fallen asleep," she said. "He was a caring person. We were just friends and he looked after me."

Paramedics attended the house, in Wordsworth Street, and found Mr Reay had suffered cardiac arrest. They performed CPR on him before he was taken to hospital.

The inquest heard he had suffered brain damage due to a lack of oxygen and was declared dead in hospital at 3.30pm the next day.

Toxicology reports found Mr Reay had opiates and diazapam in his blood.

Following a post-mortem examination, the cause of death was recorded as mixed-drug toxicity.

Partner Eden Reay said he had used drugs as way to cope after the death of his mother when he was 14.

He was said to have developed an addiction and took prescription medication meant for his grandmother.

The hearing was told he had been helped by support service Unity and had stayed off drugs following his release from prison in 2018.

Ms Reay said Mr Reay was a 'lovely person'.

Summing up, coroner Mr Smith said: "Josh was a young man who faced a number of difficulties in his life.

"That seems to have begun when his mother died and we've heard that he used drugs as a way of coping with that loss.

"One thing that's very clear is that Eden was there for him through the thick and thin.

"There is no doubt that his death will have left a hole in the lives of Eden and his friends and family and he will be sadly missed by those who knew him.