Accidental death due to combination of drink and drugs

A MAN found collapsed in a hotel bedroom died after taking a lethal combination of prescription drugs and alcohol, an inquest heard.

Christopher Hopkinson (37), was living at the Westdale Hotel, on Clarence Road, Chesterfield, when he was discovered on the floor by a friend from a next-door room and a cleaner.

North Derbyshire Coroner's Court heard on Tuesday how Mr Hopkinson had taken detox drug methadone and anti-depressant citalopram and had been drinking alcohol before he was discovered.

Mrs Catherine Mason, deputy coroner for the county, said: "The levels of prescription drugs in the body were therapeutic.

"But unfortunately they were combined with alcohol and when you have a drink you go to sleep and wake up but with the drugs this slowed down his breathing and that's when he died."

The deceased's friend, Keith Wilde, who was staying at the hotel said in a statement Mr Hopkinson had admitted drug-taking in the past and he had been drinking when they met the night before he collapsed.

But when Mr Wilde visited his room the following morning on July 19 there was no answer and when a cleaner went inside they discovered Mr Hopkinson collapsed on the floor.

A post-mortem examination confirmed the cause of death was respiratory failure due to the combination of alcohol, methadone and citalopram.

Mrs Mason returned a verdict of accidental death.

She added: "There is no evidence he intended this outcome. He had taken a prescribed level of drugs and was under the heavy influence of alcohol."