A Burnley man who kept his methadone habit secret from his partner and family died from the combined effects of taking the drug with alcohol.
Mr Eamon Devers (49) was found unresponsive at the home of his partner Kelly Hargreaves in Prestwich Street, Burnley, on November 2nd last year.
An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard the former labourer had been seeking help from substance and issue service Inspire for a number of weeks before he died.
Miss Hargreaves said: “It was the biggest shock of my life when I found a methadone bottle in his pocket.
“I had no idea. It seems a cruel way to be taken away.”
The inquest hard that former labourer Mr Devers, who was born in County Mayo, Ireland, had been taking up to 50ml a day of the heroin substitute methadone, but there was no evidence he had ever taken heroin.
He had told Inspire he has also misused alcohol, cannabis and occasionally diazepam.
Pathologist Dr Mohammed Aslam, who conducted the post-mortem examination, said toxicology tests had shown the presence of alcohol and a high level of methadone, the combined toxic effects of which had caused cardio-respiratory failure.
GP Dr Rizwana Alvi, of Manchester Road Surgery, said in a letter to the coroner her patient Mr Devers, of Elmwood Street, had told her he had been buying methadone “off the streets for some time.” She directed him to Inspire.
Miss Hargreaves added: “We really had no idea. I thought he was going to Inspire for help with his drinking and benefits advice. He was actually more of a binge drinker.”
Her mother Kim Chadwick said the inquest had described someone alien to them.
East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor, who recorded a conclusion of a drug-related death, said: “It must be a dreadful shock when you find out something like this.
“At least he recognised he had a problem and was trying to do something about it. Unfortunately it came too late.”