York & North Yorkshire

Party drug mephedrone 'contributed' to death

Image caption Police said Miss Waters had complained of feeling unwell prior to her death

The drug mephedrone could have contributed to the death of a young woman who died two days after taking the then legal high, an inquest heard.

Lois Waters, 24, was found at a friend's house in Norton, near Malton, North Yorkshire on 22 March.

The inquest in Scarborough heard Miss Waters had been taking prescribed anti-depressants when she took the drug.

The combination may have affected an undetected underlying heart condition, coroner Michael Oakley said.

He recorded a verdict of misadventure into Miss Waters's death.

Mephedrone, also known as M-Cat or Miaow Miaow, has since been reclassified as a class B drug.

Dr Elliott, a consultant forensic toxicologist, told the inquest: "Mephedrone could have an impact on the heart. She has obviously got some underlying heart condition.

He added that "there was a strong chance of it affecting the heart due to its similarities with other amphetamines".

The inquest heard that a post-mortem examination recorded Miss Waters' cause of death as "early myocardial ischemia and patchy bronchopneumonia".

Misadventure verdict

Sarah Ford, Miss Waters' friend of 14 years, described how she took mephedrone with Miss Waters in the early hours of 20 March and said the pair had taken the drug "many times" before.

She told the inquest her friend came to her house on 21 March and went to bed complaining of feeling unwell.

Miss Waters was found dead at Miss Ford's house the following morning.

Recording a verdict of misadventure, coroner Michael Oakley said the post-mortem examination results had shown early myocardial ischemia - a painful heart condition caused by lack of blood flow to the heart.

He said the prescribed drugs she was being treated with may have interacted with the mephedrone.

Mr Oakley said it should be added that Miss Waters' cause of death was contributed to by mephedrone and anti-depressant medication.

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