Anti-depressant overdoses killed two Runcorn residents in 2008 according to a new study.
Sep 3 2009 by Oliver Clay, Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News
ANTI-DEPRESSANT overdoses killed two Runcorn residents in 2008 according to a new study.The Drug Related Deaths in the UK Annual Report 2009 (DRDR) revealed that no Runcorn residents overdosed on any other substances such as heroin or crack cocaine.
The study was produced by the National Programme on Substance Abuse (NPSAD) Deaths at St George’s, part of the University of London and the International Centre for Drug Policy.
Both of the deceased were in their 40s. One was male and one female.
The study said a combination of alcohol and an unusual dose of Mirtazapine killed the man, and his death was accidental or by misadventure.
The woman died after she took too much Venlafaxine and another prescription medicine. Though suicide was suspected, a Cheshire coroner said the evidence did not prove this.
Although Runcorn had no deaths from heroin, cocaine or other illicit substance overdoses, the number of drug related deaths across England rose by 2.7% to 1,952.
John Corkery, NPSAD programme manager, said the study shows that not only illicit substances can be dangerous.
He said: “In particular heroin, diazepam, alcohol and anti-depressants slow your breathing, so the effect is increased if these substances are taken together. Eventually your breathing slows down and just stops.”
“Anybody can potentially have an accident – it’s not just kids overdosing on heroin and ecstasy.”
He added: “The good news for Halton is that it would appear to be relatively free of an illicit drug problem.
“Some areas don’t have any deaths at all.”