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Concern at increase in Derry drug deaths

A coroner has said he is "deeply concerned" about the growing number of drug-related deaths in Derry.

Concern at increase in Derry drug deaths

Concern at increase in Derry drug deaths

A coroner has said he is "deeply concerned" about the growing number of drug-related deaths in Derry.
Patrick McGurgan made the comment yesterday during an inquest at Bishop Street Court House into the death of a 32-year-0ld woman who died in single room flat on Abercorn Road in the city on 10 November, 2018.
The woman, a drug addict and a single parent, died from an accidental overdose of nine different drugs, both prescribed and non-prescribed.
Stating it was his third drug-related inquest in the city in the last two weeks, Mr. McGurgan said: "Unfortunately, I am seeing too many drug-related deaths in Derry. I am very concerned about the amount of such inquests in this city.
“It is important to keep this issue in the public domain because if people continue to abuse drugs, in all probability we will continue to have more drug-related inquests", he said.
"The problem we have in Northern Ireland generally is we have people who want to get medication and if it is not prescribed to them they will try to get it somewhere else and that is one of the major problems we are facing.
“If they are determined individuals they can go somewhere else, to the internet or to the streets.”


Mr McGurgan said one of the things he tried to do as a coroner was to try to stop people from taking drugs by highlighting what happened to a person such as the woman in yesterday's inquest.


He added: “Hopefully, the obvious pain of her family will make other people think twice about taking drugs.


“As I have said, this is my third drug-related Inquest in Derry in two weeks and that is something I am very concerned about. It is important that the public understands the absolutely devastation drugs related deaths cause to families."The Inquest process is just another tragedy for the families. Drugs effect everybody regardless of their age or gender.


“If you become involved in drug taking, in all probability you will end up dead. Drug deaths here in Northern Ireland are a very real concern for me as a coroner and we all have to combat this drugs issue.


“People do not understand  the toxic consequences when you mix drugs together,” Mr McGurgan said there was “no doubt” the woman had “difficulties with drugs and unfortunately she paid for that with her life.”He added: "If her tragedy makes someone else think twice and seek help, at least something good may come out of this family tragedy.

This was a waste of a perfectly happy young lady who had so much to live for. I sincerely hope something positive follows from this tragedy which was traumatic for her family. People should seek help," Mr. McGurgan said.The woman's mother told the coroner that her family did not want other families to suffer as a result of the drug-related deaths of a family members.She added: "If our tragedy helps another family then the life of my daughter will have achieved something. People just don't understand the absolute devastation such a death causes."


Mr McGurgan said one of the things he tried to do as a coroner was to try to stop people from taking drugs by highlighting what happened to a person such as the woman in yesterday's inquest.

He added: “Hopefully, the obvious pain of her family will make other people think twice about taking drugs.

“As I have said, this is my third drug-related Inquest in Derry in two weeks and that is something I am very concerned about.
“It is important that the public understands the absolutely devastation drug-related deaths cause to families.

“The inquest process is just another tragedy for the families. Drugs effect everybody regardless of their age or gender.
“If you become involved in drug taking, in all probability you will end up dead.

“Drug deaths here in Northern Ireland are a very real concern for me as a coroner and we all have to combat this drugs issue.
“People do not understand  the toxic consequences when you mix drugs together,”

Mr McGurgan said there was “no doubt” the woman had “difficulties with drugs and unfortunately she paid for that with her life.”
He added: "If her tragedy makes someone else think twice and seek help, at least something good may come out of this family tragedy. This was a waste of a perfectly happy young lady who had so much to live for. I sincerely hope something positive follows from this tragedy which was traumatic for her family. People should seek help," Mr. McGurgan said.

The woman's mother told the coroner her family did not want other families to suffer as a result of the drug- related deaths of family members.

The woman told Mr McGurgan: "If our tragedy helps another family then the life of my daughter will have achieved something. People just don't understand the absolute devastation such a death causes."

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