A CORONER has warned of the dangers of recreational drugs after a man was found dead in a Darlington flat after taking poppers.

The body of 58-year-old John Martin was discovered by police in the bedroom of his first floor flat in Peel Street, Darlington, after officers were contacted by mental health workers concerned for his welfare.

An inquest at Crook Coroners’ Court heard today (Friday, October 2) that Mr Martin had a history of mental illness and was a frequent user of amyl nitrate – also known as liquid gold, or poppers.

The drug, which is popular on the party scene, is sold legally as a room deodoriser, but assistant coroner Dr Leslie Hamilton highlighted its dangers.

He described side effects including headaches, nausea as well as serious internal injuries that can lead to death.

Dr Hamilton said: “I think it is really important that people understand that these are dangerous substances.

“If they are going to try experimentation then they should know that.”

The court heard that Mr Martin had been sectioned in the past and was diagnosed as having an emotionally unstable personality disorder.

He had received support from mental health services, but would frequently discharge himself from hospital or refuse treatment, Dr Hamilton said.

The court heard that there were 1,500 untouched paracetemol tablets found in Mr Martin’s flat at the time of his death and there were levels of amyl nitrate in his system in keeping with his history of abusing the substance

Mr Martin died of acute kidney injury and Dr Hamilton recorded a verdict of death related to drugs.