Family call for tighter rules on prescription drugs after Derbyshire man’s death

The inquest was heard at Chesterfield Coroner's Court.
The inquest was heard at Chesterfield Coroner's Court.

The family of a Bolsover man who died of pneumonia after developing an addiction to prescription drugs have called for tighter regulations on the amount of medication GPs can hand out to patients.

Jonathan Majkut was found dead by his flatmate in the living room of their Bolsover home on February 12 this year, an inquest at Chesterfield coroner’s court today (Friday, November 23) heard.

The 31-year-old had been battling long-standing health problems, such as emphysema and an abdominal condition, for which he took a variety of opiate-based painkillers he developed a dependence on.

Jonathan, who was born in Chesterfield and unemployed, also had a history of mental illness, malnutrition and self-harm, and had spent time on psychiatric wards.

Giving evidence at the inquest, PC Adam McGovern, who attended Jonathan’s Kestrel Close flat on the night of his death, said there were no signs of ‘anything suspicious’ at the scene or anything to suggest Jonathan had taken his own life.

Hower, empty packets of the painkiller Zomorph were recovered from the flat and it was believed that Jonathan had taken around 30 capsules in the days leading up to his death, well over the prescribed amount.

Tragically, the court heard that both Jonathan’s mother and stepfather had also died after becoming addicted to prescription medication.

Jonathan’s step grandfather, Steven Trigg, who attended the inquest, said: “It’s staggering that medication can be prescribed so easily and readily.

“I can understand the need for painkillers, but not in these amounts. It’s a problem that’s bigger than this room.”

Concluding the inquest, assistant coroner for Derbyshire Peter Nieto said he hoped GPs would find a way to tackle the issue.

He added: “Mr Majkut’s death due to bronchopneumonia was contributed to by his long-term misuse of prescription, over the counter, and recreational drugs.

“The drug dependence was also contributory to his death given the history of poor self-care which was likely to have occurred in the context of that use and dependency.”