Preston mum, 30, died after taking cocktail of drugs

A 30-year-old Preston mum died after accidentally overdosing on a cocktail of drugs, an inquest was told.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 4:55 am
Shakespeare Road where Jessica Smith was found dead on the living room floor.
Shakespeare Road where Jessica Smith was found dead on the living room floor.

Jessica Smith, who was battling opiate addiction, was found dead on the living room floor of her mother's home in Shakespeare Road after staying the night.

Coroner Richard Taylor heard Jessica had curled up on the sofa to sleep, but her body was discovered on the floor the following morning.

Toxicology tests showed she had a significant level of methadone in her system, together with another prescribed drug pregabalin and an amount of cocaine. She had also been drinking.

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Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour said death was due to "complex drug misuse."

The amount of methadone in her body was more than she would normally take and could have been fatal in itself.

Dr Armour had been called in by police because Jessica had phoned them the previous day to report she had been assaulted. She told officers she had been slapped after an argument with another woman, but had no visible injuries and insisted she did not want to take the matter further.

DI Steve Monk said detectives had attended because the death was unexplained. He said he found "a lot of prescription drugs about the house," but there were nothing to suggest anyone else had been involved in her death.

Coroner Mr Taylor told Jessica's family: "She was a young lady who did have problems with drugs for some time. She appeared to be managing it alright.

"But it's not too difficult, I suppose, that she had had a drink and that she just had a little too much of the methadone."

He concluded her death was misadventure, having inadvertently "ingested an excess of medication."