Drugs and alcohol killed man who drank up to 24 cans of cider a day

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The coroner’s court at Winchester

A MAN who drank up to 24 cans of cider a day died from acute alcohol intoxication, an inquest heard.

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Karl Chambers (46) was found unconscious in bed by his partner Eileen Kiley at their home in Parkside, Totton, on 11th September last year.  Despite being rushed to Southampton General Hospital, he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The inquest heard a statement from his GP, Dr Godfrey, who said he was awaiting a place on an alcohol detox programme. A few months earlier Mr Chamber had been admitted to hospital after suffering seizures when he attempted to withdraw from alcohol.

He had also been hospitalised for a bleed on the brain in 2015 after he was attacked in New Milton, the inquest heard.

Pathologist Dr Adrian Bateman, who carried out a post-mortem examination, said Mr Chambers had an alcohol level of just over four times the legal limit for driving.

He also had a therapeutic level of methadone in his system, which had been prescribed to him following a longstanding history of heroin use.

Dr Bateman told the court: “The combination of alcohol at a high level and methadone at a therapeutic level would be enough to increase the risk of respiratory depression, which is fatal.”

He gave the cause of death as acute alcohol intoxication and methadone intake.

In a statement, Ms Kiley said Mr Chambers was told by doctors in 2017 that he would die if he did not stop drinking. He consumed up to 24 cans of 7.5% strength cider every day in addition to 45mg of methadone, she said.

On the day he died she saw him watching television in bed about 8.45pm, but when she went back to check on him a short while later he was unresponsive. She attempted CPR and called for the emergency services, but he could not be revived.

Coroner Grahame Short said: “It is clear he had abused alcohol and drugs for a number of years. Despite medical advice and a detox, he continued to drink excessive quantities of alcohol.”

He reached a conclusion that his death was alcohol and drugs-related.

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