Dunedin man's death result of drug overdose, coroner says
A Dunedin sickness beneficiary's death was the result of a drug overdose, a coroner has ruled.
Michael Edward McCuin, 52, was found dead by two of his friends at his Dunedin home on July 25, 2014.
In a report released on Tuesday, Coroner Tim Scott found McCuin's death was the result of the "deliberate ingestion of drugs" in a recreational way, intended to "produce a state of euphoria but not death".
McCuin's friends, Michael Shaw and Wayne Hullen, visited his home about 10am to have a coffee with him. When they arrived the front door was unlocked but shut.
Shaw yelled out for McCuin, but received no answer. He opened the door and went into the lounge where he saw McCuin lying face down on the floor. He was dead.
It was unclear how long McCuin has ben dead for, but the coroner said there was no evidence of bodily changes so he believed the 52-year-old died the day he was found.
A post-mortem revealed McCuin died from multiple drug toxicity. Methadone, doxepin and zopiclone were found in his system.
McCuin had a known drug history. All of his written medical records were inaccessible though due to issues with asbestos in Dunedin Hospital.
Scott said there were only two reasons for a death from multiple drug toxicity – suicide and accidental overdose.
"I am more inclined to believe that Michael died in an accidental way while using drugs for recreational purposes.
"I think this is more likely than that he died as a result of his own suicide."
Scott said he did not have sufficient information to convince him that one cause was more likely than the other.
"All that is known of any certainty is that Michael's two friends found him deceased on the lounge floor and the post mortem indicated that the cause of his death was mixed drug toxicity."
The coroner offered his "sincere condolences and sympathy" to McCuin's family.
He made no recommendations in his report.