Coroner calls for internet drug sales regulation

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The Independent Online

The Government was urged yesterday to monitor the availability of prescription drugs on the internet after the suicide of a university graduate.

Liam Brackell, 24, became dependent on prescription drugs, such as opiates and antidepressants, after ordering them online.

At one point, he received 300 antidepressant tablets in the post every day at his home in Wanstead, east London, and by the time of his death he had tried 23 different types of prescription drugs.

Yesterday, a coroner at his inquest said she would urge the Government to examine the availability of prescription drugs.

After a jury returned a verdict that Mr Brackell had killed himself while suffering from a depressive illness, Elizabeth Stearns, the coroner, told Walthamstow Coroner's Court: "These substances obviously had a dire effect on his medical health. I shall approach the Government and bring this report to their attention."

The inquest heard Mr Brackell took drugs, such as ecstasy, cannabis and magic mushrooms, to "make him feel better about himself", while at Durham university.

Last summer, Mr Brackell was diagnosed with "drug induced psychosis" after running in front of a bus. On 7 June he killed himself by walking in front of an incoming train at Manor Park tube station, in east London.

Speaking after the inquest, Sue Brackell, his mother, urged the Government to investigate the lack of regulation of drug-buying on the internet.

Mr Brackell purchased the drugs from foreign websites, therefore they were not monitored by the UK-based Medicines and Health Care Products Regulatory Agency.