Dad tragically found dead at home after keeping heroin use secret from family

A dad who had secretly returned to using heroin was tragically found dead on his bedroom floor.

Michael Kipling, 49, was discovered unresponsive at his home by his brother.

An inquest heard how Michael, from Stoke, had been suffering from a number of health issues in the run-up to his death. He had severe COPD and had been experiencing shortness of breath, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.

Just days before his body was found, he had also gone to see a doctor for knee pain and had been diagnosed with arthritis.

In a statement referred to at the hearing, his daughter Jasmine Rogers stated: “He was always pouring with sweat and was in a lot of pain to the point he couldn’t walk.”

Jasmine had suspected her dad was using heroin again. Her suspicions were confirmed when she went to clear out his room several days after his death on August 11. She found drugs paraphernalia there.

Michael had been ‘telling everyone’ he was clean of the class A drug.

He had been on a daily methadone prescription and was under the care of a community drug and alcohol team.

Pathologist Dr Andrew Hitchcock said: “A toxicological exam recorded significant levels of a number of drugs. He was also noted to have lung disease.”

He put the cause of death down to methadone, cocaine and morphine toxicity, combined with emphysema.

The inquest was told that the morphine was indicative of heroin use, but was not an excessive level on its own. The cocaine was likely to have been ‘historic use’ rather than directly before he died.

Yet taken together, the variety of prescription and illicit drugs would have had a depressive effect on his respiratory system. 

Concluding it was a drugs-related death, North Staffordshire area coroner Emma Serrano said: “I’ve seen no evidence that he intended to pass away when he took these substances.

“It appears to me that he took these substances because he was addicted to heroin and he didn’t appreciate how they would react together.”

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