The deadly game of Russian Roulette 'recreational' drug users play with their lives

How deadly is taking Class A drugs like cocaine, Ecstasy and heroin on a ''recreational'' basis?

Some campaigners claim, drugs can be taken ''responsibly'' if the user understands and educate themselves on the effects and legal status of the narcotics they are taking, and measure ''accurate'' dosages to reduce the risk of a fatal overdose.

But this month a coroner investigating the overdose death of a brilliant university graduate said it was ''astonishing and frightening'' that young people did not think of the deadly impact of ''weekend'' drug use.

Aron Cheetham, 25, was a respected events coordinator at Manchester Metropolitan University who appeared to lead a healthy squeaky clean lifestyle through his love of cycling, squash and the gym.

Yet he accidentally killed himself with a lethal cocktail of heroin, cocaine and Ecstasy after secretly taking drugs - usually at weekends - for at least seven years.

Towards the end of his working week Aron would trawl the ''dark web'' to order Class A drugs which were then delivered in brown packages to his front door so he could snort or smoke them on a Saturday and Sunday.

A friend found the body of Aron a First class honours psychology graduate at their shared property in Old Trafford, Manchester after he spent the weekend snorting and smoking heroin with one of his housemates.

His mother, a college receptionist only found about her son's drug use following his death and recalled how just a day before the tragedy she had been proudly telling family friends how happy she was that Aron had ''passed the age'' of experimenting with narcotics.

Tests showed Aron had traces of cocaine, cannabis, diazepam, ecstasy and heroin in his system. Toxicologist Julie Evans said: ''This combination of drugs can cause death - it's easy to accidentally overdose with heroin."

At the Stockport inquest coroner Joanne Kearsley recorded a conclusion of drug related death and said: ''I really hope lessons can be learned from Aron's death. Even if you are taking recreational drugs, you think you're taking the same amount but there are dangers in that. I hope those people who were his friends take on board what happened because I think it could be a lot of people sitting here today.''

Cavendish Press' coverage of the inquest featured in the The Sun, The Times and Mail online.

According to recent figures more than 15 million Britons, nearly one in three of the adult population, have taken illegal drugs with approximately 3 million people continuing to do so. The profile of those currently taking drugs is weighted towards younger Britons, with half of active users aged 16-34.

Yet although drug taking is on the rise 87% of those who have taken drugs do not believe they have ever had a problem with them. The majority of active drug users (55%) are infrequent users, taking them at an average frequency of less than once a month.

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