Mum of Sale man who died from overdose hopes his death can serve as a lesson to others

Joshua Makin

Joshua Makin

First published in News

A SALE mum has warned young people to stop taking drugs after her son swallowed a painkilling patch as a joke – giving him 150 times the standard dose.


Joshua Makin, 20, of Firethorn Walk, Sale , died last summer after ‘impulsively’ ingesting Fentanyl, a strong painkiller used like a nicotine patch.


A patch should last three days – trickle feeding just 100mg of the drug an hour.


But while joking about, Joshua put the whole thing in his mouth at a friend's party.


Toxicology reports showed he ingested 16,800mg of the Class A drug.


His girlfriend, Summer Harrison, woke beside Joshua the next morning to find him unconscious and covered in a strange rash.


Paramedics were called but Joshua had died.


It later transpired that fellow partygoer Ambrose Murray had stolen the patches from his father, who used them for back pain.


Murray was last year jailed for 18 months after admitting theft and supplying Class A drugs.


An inquest at Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard Joshua had begun to experiment with drugs – starting with cannabis – when he was 17.


As a youngster the Manchester United fan was on his school’s football team and ran for Sale Harriers, but after leaving school and trying jobs including a legal apprenticeship and decorating, he began to experiment with drugs.


His mother Louise said he would stay out for days at a time and his attitude changed.
She even accompanied Joshua to his GP to seek guidance.


The week Joshua died, he was staying with friend, Jonathon Drinkhill, in Timperley.


The pair drank alcohol, took five tablets of valium and shared a gram of the horse tranquiliser, ketamine.


Later that evening, Murray came to the party with five Fentanyl patches.


Jonathon and Joshua stuck the patches on their hips as instructed by Murray.


After they went to bed, Jonathon returned to Joshua’s room and put the same patch on his forehead.


He added: “He was joking around, I think he was trying to get a laugh out of me. I saw him put it in his mouth. Then Josh went to sleep and so did I.”


Jonathon was awoken the next morning by Summer.

She said: “He had a purple rash on his side. I panicked, I tried to wake him up but I couldn’t’.”


The pair tried to give him CPR before paramedics also battled to save him.


Julie Evans, toxicologist, said they found evidence of cannabis, valium, and ketamine in his system.


There was also 54.2mg of Fentanyl per litre of blood – when an average dose is between 1.9mg and 3.8mg.


The drug is an opioid which slows down the heart and central nervous system.


Recording a verdict of misadventure, coroner Joanne Kersley said Joshua had died from Fentanyl toxicity, with ingestion of ketamine and diazepam.


Ruling out any intention to take his own life and describing his actions as ‘impulsive' but 'tragic', she added: “He was joking around with his friends.


“You just hope that his death can teach a lesson to any of his friends and young people about their use of recreational drugs.”


After the inquest Louise, Joshua’s mum, said: “As Joshua’s mother and family we are completely devastated at losing him.


“Anyone who takes recreational drugs is literally playing Russian roulette with their lives and if they knew what we had gone through they would never do it again. We have had 15 months of hell.


“At the moment we want to be able to grieve for Joshua as with the court case and this hearing we’ve not been able to properly. We need time to take stock.”

 

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