Toxic levels of heroin found in man’s body

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A coroner ruled that a Burnley man’s death was drug-related, after he was found with toxic levels of heroin in his system.

Craig Brown (42), of Brownhill Avenue, was found dead at his flat on April 13th, Burnley Coroner’s Court heard.

Pathologist Dr Muhammad Aslam conducted a post-mortem and concluded he died of cardio-respiratory failure because of combined drug toxicity. Mr Brown had 519mg of morphine in his system as well as lower levels of methadone and diazepam and the drugs would have multiplied each other’s toxic effects.

On April 13th friends became worried when Mr Brown was not answering his phone. They broke into his flat where they found him collapsed and burnt bits of tin-foil littering the ground.

An ambulance was called and paramedics confirmed he had died.

Mr Brown had been a keen footballer in his youth, before a knee injury at the age of 13 ended his playing career. Shortly afterwards he began sniffing glue and experimenting with cannabis and heroin.

Mr Brown suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema) and needed to take oxygen for 16 hours every day as his lungs only worked at 23% capacity.

East Lancashire Corner Mr Richard Taylor, ruling that Mr Brown’s death was drug-related, was told Mr Brown was taking heroin more often after being diagnosed with emphysema.

“Maybe he was upset by what he had found out and was taking more than he had done before, and his body could not take it,” he said.