Swapping drugs is 'part of everyday life in Bradford'

Swapping prescription drugs is 'rife'

Swapping prescription drugs is 'rife'

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Leisure and Lifestyle Editor

In March the Telegraph & Argus reported on an inquest into the deaths of two women who died from taking drugs not prescribed to them.

Initially, police thought the deaths in June last year of breast cancer survivor Alison Pearson, 50, and former dental nurse Sarah Hussain, 38, were linked. But an investigation revealed the only connection was that both women had consumed drugs which had not been prescribed to them.

The women were found on the same day, half a mile from each other on Lower Grange estate.

Friends found Miss Hussain on the floor of her flat, clutching an oxygen mask attached to a cylinder she used for tuberculosis. The inquest heard that she had been a heroin user and had started a detoxification programme.

A post-mortem found her accidental death was caused by heroin and other drugs including an anti-epileptic drug, supplied to her illegally.

Police and paramedics were already at Miss Hussain's flat when Mrs Pearson’s death was reported. The inquest heard that Mrs Pearson had a cocktail of 12 drugs in her system when she died on the couch after she and her partner had spent the previous day drinking tea and taking medications obtained from various people, causing them to drift in and out of sleep. Mrs Pearson was found dead the next day Detective Sergeant Wedge told the hearing into the two deaths that people were taking prescription drugs as part of “every day life” in Bradford. He said they were taken as a substitute for Class A and Class B drugs.

He told the inquest: “Whether it’s the sale, the swapping or handing out of prescription drugs, I think it’s rife.”

Assistant Bradford Coroner Roger Whittaker, recording verdicts of accidental death in both cases, said: “It’s a question of each individual realising that taking these drugs is as serious as taking drugs proscribed by law.”

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