Preston man, 23, died after ‘speedballing’ with lethal cocktail of drugs and drink

A 23-year-old man with an addiction to alcohol died after "speedballing" with a lethal cocktail of drugs and drink, an inquest heard,

By Brian Ellis
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 7:59 am

Robert Wareing, of Bow Lane, Preston, was found unresponsive in a friend's bedsit the morning after a heavy night out in the city.

Area Coroner Chris Long was told he was in a state of "profound intoxication" when he arrived at the address in West Cliff at 4am.

A post-mortem toxicology test found he also had a mixture of different drugs in his system including heroin, cocaine and pregabalin.

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Preston Coroner's Court

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The court heard that speedballing is a practice where users mix both stimulants and depressants, typically heroin and cocaine, for an increased effect.

Robert had been seeking help for his alcohol addiction at the charity Change Grow Live because he wanted to reduce his alcohol intake. He had also been through various detox programmes.

But on the night of October 31/November 1 last year he had been out drinking with a friend and the two had bumped into a third man.

No 27 West Cliff where Robert was found unresponsive after a night of drink and drugs.

"He appeared to have taken a large amount of alcohol in company with two friends who were also heavily intoxicated," the inquest heard.

A police officer told the hearing the three had gone back to the bedsit in West Cliff and had sat chatting for about an hour before Robert fell asleep and started snoring loudly.

When one of the men woke the following morning Robert was found unresponsive. The men tried CPR, followed soon after by paramedics, but he could not be resuscitated.

Police attended and DI Chris Wellard said he examined the body and could find no signs of a struggle or any criminal act.

A small plastic wrap was found on the floor near the body which contained a substance later confirmed as heroin. A number of syringes were also found in a bin at the property, along with some alcohol containers.

Although neither of the men saw him take any drugs that night, Coroner Chris Long said the toxic combination of alcohol and a combination of drugs in his system had proved fatal and had “resulted in his sad death."

He reached a conclusion of "drug-related death."