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Man died from lethal cocktail of heroin and cocaine

A 22-year-old man died in his home hours after taking a lethal cocktail of drugs which included heroin and cocaine, an inquest has heard.

James Andrew Thompson, from Harrisburg Street in north Belfast, collapsed after a drugs binge with Noel McCausland, his friend of 12 years, in his bedroom in October 2008.

A post-mortem examination revealed that “recreational and therapeutic” amounts of cocaine, codeine, heroin and cannabis were detected in his body. Diazepam, which he was prescribed, was also found in his system.

Speaking via a videolink from Maghaberry Prison yesterday, Mr McCausland said he had travelled from Bangor to Belfast to meet Mr Thompson at his house with another friend hours before he died.

Mr McCausland said he bought heroin and took it while Mr Thompson went to work. He said that after returning from work Mr Thompson — who had a history of taking drugs recreationally — said he wanted to take heroin.

He told coroner Brian Sherrard in Belfast they bought around 1.5g of heroin. Mr McCausland said they had heated the heroin in a saucepan and had used sterile wipes and syringes.

He also told Mr Sherrard they took the drug on and off throughout the night and admitted that he was “out of my head” on drugs.

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Coroner Brian Sherrard said that while Mr Thompson died of mixed drug toxicity the 22-year-old had not been an addict. He added that the “tragic death” highlighted the need for better education about the dangers of taking drugs recreationally.

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