Coroner: Cocaine biggest killer in drug-related deaths

SAYING he presided over 26 cocaine-related deaths in 2007, the Dublin County Coroner yesterday issued a stark warning to people about the dangers of using drugs, including cocaine, which he termed “by far the biggest killer” of all.

Cocaine toxicity was the most common cause of death in more than half of all inquests into drug-related deaths heard at Dublin County Coroner’s Court this year, Dr Kieran Geraghty said.

Of the 47 inquests into drug-related deaths heard at the court in 2007, 26 of them were cocaine related, 16 were heroin related and five were ecstasy related.

“By far the biggest killer is cocaine. Of the 26 cocaine-related inquests, cocaine toxicity on its own accounted for 15 deaths, while cocaine together with heroin accounted for a further six deaths,” said Dr Geraghty.

“We had two occasions where people took their own lives after taking cocaine, a single car crash which involved cocaine, and now we have two deaths from drowning,” he said.

“I hope at least some people will pay attention to those facts and avoid drugs and avoid the company of people who use drugs.

“Looking back on 2007 there has been a large number of inquests into drug-related deaths. And nearly all of the deaths involved young people.”

He said these related to deaths in the county of Dublin only and did not take into account drug-related deaths in Dublin city or elsewhere in the country.

“In 2007, I opened seven inquests into deaths where people were shot to death and five where they were stabbed to death and some of these involved a drug connection.”

In one of the five inquests into ecstasy-related deaths heard at the court in 2007, heroin was a contributory factor, while in two of the five inquests, cocaine was also involved.

Meanwhile, of the 16 inquests into deaths related to heroin heard at the court in 2007, one also involved ecstasy and six involved cocaine.

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