Drug user dies after 'horse tranquiliser' overdose
A drug user died after overdosing on ketamine – a substance normally used as a horse tranquilliser.
Mark Anthony Smith, aged 40, was found dead by friends in his mobile home in Tyne Road, near Weedon Road industrial estate, on December 13, an inquest in Northampton heard yesterday.
Coroner Anne Pember recorded a verdict of accidental death, adding: "This was an untimely death. One would have hoped he would have many more years ahead of him."
Terry Bogg, service director for CAN Northampton Adult Services, which provides drug, alcohol and homelessness services throughout Northamptonshire, said the drug was primarily used socially.
He said: "Ketamine has been around in Northampton for years. It's a clubbing drug.
"It isn't unusual for young people to mention it in passing, but it tends to be mixed with other drugs. It is rare for it to be used as someone's primary drug. It's also a very dangerous drug. Users develop a tolerance to it, which means they need more and more."
He said that, from the 30-40 people the organisation saw each day, about one person a week reported using ketamine.
Mr Smith's sister, Wendy Carter, said: "He was a lovable, likable lad."
She described Mr Smith, a fitness enthusiast, as a sociable family man who would dress up as Father Christmas during the festive period for the local community.
Mrs Carter added that in the months leading up to his death, her brother had become increasingly anxious regarding his financial state and lack of a fixed address.
The inquest heard how he was prevented from seeing his four children because of his drug use.
Concerns were raised when no one had seen or heard from Mr Smith for several days. When his friends went to check on him, they found he had died.
Last Updated: 12 November 2009 10:25 AM
Source: Northampton Chron & Echo
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