Overdose death of ex-drugs counsellor

A FORMER drugs counsellor died of an overdose, an inquest heard.

David Ian Stanley, of St Michael’s House, Lupset, received treatment for rectal cancer, and was given the all-clear in December 2004.

Assistant deputy coroner Mary Burke heard how the ex Druglink counsellor and reformed drug user spent Christmas with his family, and appeared to enjoy himself.

The single 48-year-old returned home on December 28, and spoke to his terminally ill brother in Plymouth, expressing regret about his life.

His brother Jonathan was on his way to visit another brother in Leeds General Infirmary on December 31 and stopped by to see if Mr Stanley wanted to go with him.

He looked through the letterbox and saw his brother lying across the sofa. He called the caretaker who then called the police and ambulance.

Police forced entry and a paramedic pronounced him dead at the scene.

Police found packets of drugs scattered throughout the house, making it difficult to realise what substances Mr Stanley may have been taking, and at what levels.

Pathologist Dr Uma Raja said Mr Stanley had high levels of oxycodin and morphine in his blood, along with enough alcohol to leave him one-and-a-half times the legal limit for driving.

She said he died of an overdose of the three.

Miss Burke said Mr Stanley had been diagnosed with depression a number of years ago, and had also drunk to excess in the past. She added that he was on a course of high levels of drugs which were meant to be cut down gradually.

She said: “I am satisfied that Mr Stanley voluntarily consumed alcohol and various tablets and medication.

“But I am not satisfied that as a consequence he knew he would end his own life.”

She recorded an open verdict.