With the numbers of those suffering from drug addictions around the world showing no signs of abating, the ‘drug epidemic’ is becoming a concerning issue in many countries, including to a lesser extent here in the UK. The concerning thing is that many people do not attempt to overcome their addiction as they are frightened of addiction detox and what it entails. However, detox is a highly effective start to overcoming addiction, and it is not too difficult with the right support in place. Had a woman called Claire Fielding partaken in an addiction detox, she may still be alive today.

Self-Medication

Claire was someone that turned to drugs to self-medicate but ended up suffering a cardiac arrest and sadly passing away. She had been inhaling up to four grammes of cocaine every day for over ten years to cope with a severe case of tinnitus. Claire had been described as ‘outgoing and bubbly’ but retreated ‘into her shell’ after being diagnosed with the hearing condition.

In July 2016, Claire suffered a heart attack; she ran down the stairs in her home with blue lips and was struggling to breathe; her partner called an ambulance. She died later that day in the Royal Bolton Hospital, despite many attempts at resuscitation.

Aware of the Risks

James Goodyear, her partner of seventeen years, explained, “I knew that she took cocaine at the weekends sometimes. It was a form of self-medication for her. She was quite a private person really. She never really said what was going through her head.”

A drugs counsellor told the coroner’s court that Claire had admitted that she had been snorting up to four grammes of cocaine daily but that she had managed to cut down in the months leading up to her death.

A representative of the Bolton Drug and Alcohol service, Lyndsey Price, said, “She wanted to stop, and she wanted to engage. Cocaine addiction is a very, very strong psychological addiction. Claire did do her own research, and she was very interested and very motivated in trying to cut down. She found that sorting her daughters’ Lego helped to keep her hands busy. On each meeting, she was warned about cocaine use. Claire was aware of the risks.” She also added that Claire’s attendance at the clinic was ‘intermittent’.

‘She Wasn’t in a Good State’

Partner James said, “She had hearing problems, which deteriorated more recently. She also had problems with panic attacks and with her breathing. There were two or three occasions where she had struggled to breathe. She did drink about half a bottle of wine most nights, regularly. She suffered from tinnitus, and that’s what calmed her. It was this buzzing in her ears all the time.

“On the day of her death, I went upstairs and woke her up because she couldn’t hear the alarm, and went back downstairs. She came down into the kitchen; she was gasping for breath, and she said ring an ambulance. I had seen her like this before. Her lips had started to go blue, but they had gone back to normal by the time the ambulance arrived. She wasn’t in a good state.”

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Dr Anindita Paul from the Royal Bolton Hospital was the doctor who had treated Claire for her tinnitus as well as inflammation of the throat that had arisen from her frequent cocaine use. Dr Paul explained, “Claire had to be stabilised at that time with the tracheostomy and some steroids were found to be helping. Claire also had a collapsed nasal bridge. She was a very bubbly person. She obviously had difficulties at the time with her tracheostomy but felt the steroids were helping to improve.”

A post-mortem revealed that Claire died from cardiac arrest that happened suddenly as a result of her cocaine use. Traces of cocaine, paracetamol and ibuprofen were discovered to be in her bloodstream as well, which suggested that she had taken cocaine the night prior to her death or a large dose the previous weekend.

Fatal Consequences

Assistant coroner Rachel Griffin said, “Claire has been described as a very bubbly and very caring young lady. She had struggled during her life with drug use, and particularly her use of cocaine. She reported that she was using cocaine on a daily basis and that she was using the drug to a relatively high level. She was warned about the risk of using cocaine and she was fully educated from her own research of cocaine. It is clear to me Claire died from a cardiac event due to her drug use. I hope that if any good can come out of Claire’s death, it is a warning to others about the use of cocaine and the dangers of using cocaine. It is a very dangerous drug even in small amounts; even with a one-off use or long-term use it can have fatal consequences.”

Pushing Through Addiction Detox

Trying to beat an addiction can be a tough task. However, once you manage to get through the initial addiction detox stage, it gets a little easier from there. If Claire had managed to go through an addiction detox, her story might have been one of hope and inspiration rather than one of ultimate tragedy. Trying to rid your body of the drugs you have been abusing for so long is a shock to your system, which is why you can experience withdrawal symptoms while going through detox.

Once you make it through this crucial first step, though, you are ready to move on to a life of sobriety. Nonetheless, you must make sure that you are fully supported during your journey to ensure that you avoid relapse. At Addiction Helper, we can help you find the most suitable clinic and treatments for your particular circumstances. We are available 24/7, so whenever you need us, we will be here for you. If you require any further information or have any queries, do not hesitate to contact us today.

Source: Young mum, 34, dies from cardiac arrest after snorting four grams of cocaine a day to self-medicate severe tinnitus (Mirror.co.uk)