Drugs cocktail kills addict

A DRUG addict was killed by a cocktail of sedatives and Subutex prescribed to help him kick the habit. 

Muhammad Khairizal Yusof, 23, was found dead in his home at about 6pm on Feb 24 – with the syringe he injected himself with, still in his hand. 

At his inquest yesterday, the court heard how he had been prescribed Dormicum and Subutex to deal with his drug dependency. 

The level of Dormicum in his blood was normal, while that of Subutex was slightly above prescribed limits. 

Subutex is a prescribed drug given to heroin addicts to wean them off their addiction. 

But it is also known to be used by some drug addicts as a cheap substitute for heroin. They mix it with other substances – including Dormicum – and inject the cocktail to get a “high”. 

Muhammad, into drugs since his teens, was a convicted drug offender. 

Investigations revealed he had been admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for drug abuse and had also seen doctors at the Institute of Mental Health for drug dependency. 

Dr Clarence Tan, principal consultant of the Health Sciences Authority, found he died as a result of a drug reaction.  

He noted that the combined effect of mixing Subutex with other drugs such as Valium and Dormicum is “unpredictable” even within prescribed limits, and had resulted in sudden death. 

State Coroner Tan Boon Heng returned a verdict of misadventure – or accident. 

“I am satisfied that the deceased did not intend to die prematurely through the ingestion of those drugs,” he said.  

While there has been only one reported case of Subutex death, the Home Affairs Ministry believes the drug may have killed several others. 

It prompted the Health Ministry to tighten controls on the supply of the drug late November last year. – The Straits Times / Asia News Network  

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