A loving family man died after drinking methadone while suffering from a chest infection, an inquest has ruled.
Michael Stanley, 25, of Duckmanton, was found collapsed on his bed after consuming the heroin substitute.
His distraught parents Michael and Carol Stanley, of South Crescent, have described how his death has devastated their lives and have urged others not take drugs.
Mrs Stanley, said: “It has left the biggest hole. We just can’t get over it. We still think he’s going to walk through the door every day.”
During the hearing at Chesterfield coroners on Thursday, the court heard how Michael had a problem with alcohol but was not a regular drug user.
The day before his death he was limping and his parents saw him drink from a 260ml bottle of methadone, which he said would help ease the pain in his foot.
Tearful Mrs Stanley said: “He took the lid off and had the quickest swig. He looked at me and said ‘don’t worry mother I’m not going to die’.”
The following morning he was found unconscious in bed by his parents. He was pronounced dead at hospital on May 12, 2012.
Police discovered the methadone belonged to an Anthony Cox who was prescribed the drug and said it had been stolen from his home. But Mr Cox failed to turn up to the coroners court to give evidence.
said tests showed Michael had a chest infection. He added: “Unfortunately if you have a chest infection your respiratory system is already compromised.
“Methadone reduces respiratory drive.”
Coroner Nigel Anderson ruled a narrative conclusion - that Michael died of a chest infection contributed to by methadone.
Distraught parents warn others after death of son
Michael’s parents have paid tribute to their son, who they have described as a “lively, loving lad”.
Mr Stanley said: “He was a character. You would hear him before you saw him, he was so loud.”
Mrs Stanley added Michael’s four brothers; John, Alan, Adrian and Gary, were struggling to cope with his loss. She said: “We’re a very close family. He got on very well with his brothers. He absolutely adored all their children and was brilliant with them. ”
Mr Stanley said: “If this story stops just one person from trying drugs, that’s a good thing. I don’t think young people realise the consequences they can have. If he hasn’t had the methadone he might be here now.”