Wednesday, August 06, 2008

More on drug deaths around the world

I thought you might be interested in some further correspondence regarding the case I posted on last week.

Is it the norm to use Cocaine together with Heroine?

Assuming that he had the Thrombi at the time of death, could this mean that he as a long term addict? I mean is there any way in knowing from the toxic report whether he was a long term addict or if this was something he started doing recently, and if the report mentioned that there was no external injuries to the body, will they also take needle marks into account?

What about the Amitrippyline – could this just be a coincidence that he took an antidepressant or could it be part of a drug or a mix of drugs he took? And according to the amount – how many pills did he take?

This is really important, as we suspect that he could have been given these ‘drugs’ by another person, against his will, that is why I need to determine if he was addict or not, if at all possible?

And if the blood cloth didn’t hit his lungs – would he have died anyway?

South Africa - Bloemfontein

My answers to those questions:

It is not at all unusual for a person to take Cocaine and Heroin together. In our experience with drug deaths, the number of those dying with heroin alone as opposed to cocaine and heroin together is about equal.

The thrombi are only relevant to his death and/or pre-death state. They would not likely be a chronic problem nor reflect chronic addiction.

There is no real way, based on testing, to know if he was a long term addict with certainty, although the lack of apparent medical problems (as seen in some addicts) at autopsy would make long term addiction a somewhat less likely possibility.

Needle marks would have been looked for and commented on if present. It is not unusual these days to snort/inhale cocaine and heroin.

The Amitriptyline level is not toxic or indicative of an overdose; it is within the range of people taking it therapeutically (possibly in the range of 150 mg as a dose).

The amitriptyline could have been “slipped to him”. The cocaine and heroin is not active, in any significant way, if taken by mouth, so the likelihood of it being given to him against his will is essentially zero (without needle marks).

The clot in his lungs killed him, but certainly cocaine and heroin can and do kill in other ways.

I hope these help.

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