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Fatal poisoning by alcohol and heroin.

Authors
  • Sutlović, Davorka
  • Definis-Gojanović, Marija
Type
Published Article
Journal
Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology
Publisher
De Gruyter Open Sp. z o.o.
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2007
Volume
58
Issue
3
Pages
323–328
Identifiers
PMID: 17913687
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Drug abuse with alcohol consumption have been on the rise in Split-Dalmatian County for a while now. This article reports two separate cases with three deaths due to fatal combinations of heroin and alcohol. The first case of poisoning is related to a young couple, a 30-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman, who were found dead in a car, surrounded by cans of a variety alcoholic drinks. Two needles were found beside the bodies as well. The victims were registered drug abusers who had been in withdrawal programs. The second case was a 29-year-old man who was found dead in a house. Three fresh injection marks were visible on his right arm, and two needles were near his body. He was not known as a drug addict, but he had tried to commit suicide recently. Carboxyhaemoglobin was found in blood samples of both victims from the first case. The concentration was 25% and that could contribute to their death. In both described cases blood alcohol concentration was higher then 1.60 g kg(-1). Toxicology tests were positive for heroin, meconin, acetaminophen, 6-acetylmorphine, codeine, noscapine and papaverine. Ethanol, being a respiratory depressant, combined with morphine drastically increases the risk of rapid death due to respiration failure.

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