Risks associated with illegal drug use have been highlighted
by Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar in his formal
findings on the death of a 48-year-old Dunedin man.
Laszlo Vegh, also known as Leslie Vegh, died on January 4
last year at a Seacliff house. The sickness beneficiary had
gone to the house, occupied by a friend, where both men
injected themselves with morphine.
A third man was present but did not ingest drugs.
In his written findings, released yesterday, Mr Crerar said
Mr Vegh injected himself with a ''very large dose'' of
morphine then collapsed and died.
A St John ambulance was called to the address and paramedics
alerted police to Mr Vegh's death.
Autopsy results detected about 0.3mg of morphine per litre of
''Such a concentration was within the levels determined by
ESR to be a fatal concentration,'' Mr Crerar said.
He said there was no suggestion Mr Vegh had been, or was,
Police concluded no other person assisted Mr Vegh with his
drug-taking, although the occupant of the address was
convicted of permitting premises to be used for taking drugs.
Mr Crerar said police determined the death of Mr Vegh was the
result of a self-inflicted and unintentional overdose of
morphine and, as a coroner, he was satisfied with that
Mr Crerar highlighted the dangers faced by people preparing
and injecting illegal drugs.
''It is impossible for the dosage of self-prepared drugs to
be calculated exactly, and the tolerance between a dosage
intended to create the perceived recreational effects of the
drug and a fatal dosage is slight.
''The public is warned not to take drugs not prescribed for
them,'' he said.