A DAD paid a heartfelt tribute to his loving son who died after taking methadone on a night out.
The Huddersfield inquest heard that Kevin Pinkney, 20, had taken the heroin substitute during a heavy drinking session.
Two days later he was found unresponsive by his housemate and died in hospital on December 3 after being declared brain-dead.
The inquest heard that Mr Pinkney had not been a regular drug user and appeared to have taken the prescription-only drug as a one-off when drunk.
Yesterday Mr Pinkney’s dad Garry said lessons need to be learned from his death.
He said: “He was full of life, a wonderful character who was loved by all and will be sadly missed by all.
“Young people need to learn from this, but why should they be learning from my son’s death?”
Mr Pinkney, a pushchair technician for Huddersfield company Mamas & Papas, had spent the weekend drinking heavily with Simon Castle.
Mr Pinkney had moved into Mr Castle’s Clough Road home in Birkby two weeks before his death when his mum and stepfather had gone on holiday to Australia.
Mr Castle told the inquest he and Mr Pinkney had started drinking heavily at home together early Saturday morning.
He said: “We were very drunk and then we went out. Kevin bought some methadone, he’d heard it was meant to be liquid amphetamine. We shared it.
“I woke up on Sunday and was violently sick. Kevin was lying on the sofa like he was sleeping. I saw him again on the Monday and was concerned because he hadn’t moved.
“I called an ambulance telling them he’d taken some liquid stuff or methadone. I went back to him and he wasn’t breathing.”
Mr Castle said he had never seen his friend take methadone before.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Pinkney died from brain damage following a heart attack caused by the alcohol and methadone overdose.
Toxicologist Richard Sykes told the inquest Mr Pinkney was a naive user of the artificially manufactured methadone, which isnormally prescribed to help wean addicts off drugs like heroin.
He said: “Methadone is a central nervous system depressant.
“While a regular user would build up a tolerance to its toxic effects, to a naive user it could prove lethal – particularly when combined with alcohol.”
Mr Sykes said that as little as 25mils of methadone could prove fatal to a naive user.
Coroner Roger Whittaker said that while methadone is prescribed it is freely available on the streets, usually traded by drug users.
Recording a verdict of accidental death he said: “In Mr Pinkney’s drunkenness he was persuaded to buy some methadone which was available on the street.
“The combination of alcohol and methadone caused his central nervous system to become so depressed he stopped breathing.
“This is a tragic accident and there’s no evidence to suggest he was habitually abusing drugs.
“It’s a wake-up call for all young people that when one is drinking all sorts of things might happen.”