Former addict overdosed on medication

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A FORMER heroin addict from Wigan died after accidently overdosing on her medication.

An inquest, led by area coroner Alan Walsh, recorded that Sharon Maria Wood died from a mixture of methadone and a pain relief drug amitriptyline.

Her husband, Stephen Wood, told the hearing at Bolton Coroners’ Court that he discovered the 48-year-old slumped in her armchair in her home in Conway Road, Stubshaw Cross, on the morning of April 11.

Paramedics were called but they were unable to resuscitate her and she was pronounced dead.

He added that she had used heroin in her younger years and was proscribed regular methadone prescriptions three times a week.

The former Heinz and Gus worker was also prescribed amitriptyline as she suffered from leg ulcers,

A post-mortem revealed that Mrs Wood also had low levels of cocaine in her blood, which were not deemed high enough to be lethal, plus extremely large amounts of methadone and amitriptyline, which were at fatal levels.

Mr Wood insisted that his wife, who preferred to be known by the name Maria, would not wish to harm herself. He added: “She never talked about harming herself - she was terrified of dying.”

Deborah Cohen, recovery co-ordinator at Addaction, which supports substance abusers, said that Mrs Wood had attended many sessions - with her last being three weeks prior to her death, where she discussed goals to stop cocaine use, which she took socially.

She added that she talked about how the pain in her legs was impacting on her life, but did not mention wanting to take her own life.

Mrs Wood’s GP Dr Manu Patel reiterated that she had no suicidal thoughts and that she had no records of previous overdoses.

He added that he made sure she was never given any extra supplies and seemed to comply with her methadone prescriptions,

Police conducted a search of the property and confirmed there was no third party involvement or suspicious circumstances.

Recording a verdict of misadventure, Mr Walsh concluded: “Mrs Wood suffered a considerable amount of pain from her leg ulcers - which were clean and dressed regularly by district nurses.

“She was on long-term methadone prescriptions and was taking it in accordance to the correct dosage.

“There was no evidence of self-harm or intending to take her own life.”