A MAN died after taking a cocktail of drugs because “he never understood that there was a different life out there”.

Sean Whitehead died aged 45 after years of taking heroin and crack cocaine, heard Bolton Coroners Court yesterday.

Mr Whitehead lived in Wilderswood Avenue, Horwich, with his mother, who discovered him unresponsive in the early hours of June 3, surrounded by drug paraphernalia.

The father-of-one had battled with drug addiction from being a teenager, first using cannabis while he was in secondary school, approximately age 14.

He had been involved with drug addiction services in Bolton since 2007, the inquest heard.

Mr Whitehead had been in hospital after overdosing on drugs in May of last year and later collected a daily prescription of methadone from the chemist.

But he was already taking medication for epilepsy and Tramadol, to ease general pains.

Dr Tracy Myton, of the Bolton drug service Achieve, said that Mr Whitehead had been advised of the risks of mixing the drugs, with his requests for a higher dose of methadone being denied by the service.

It was a combination of methadone, prescription drugs and his heavy use of alcohol and heroin that led to Mr Whitehead’s death, the hearing was told.

Dr Myton said: “We told him of the risks of accidental overdose. Sometimes if patients buy heroin and it is a stronger bag than usual, that can tip them over the edge. It does not have to be very chaotic use.”

Mr Whitehead was found unresponsive at around 2am next to a syringe, with prescription drugs and makeshift pipes nearby in his bedroom.

Mr Whitehead’s sister, Joanne Lomax, represented the family at the inquest.

She said in a statement read out by the coroner: “Sean could be quite unapproachable but I loved him because he was my brother.

“He was intelligent, he just never understood that there was a different life out there. He will be sadly missed.”

Rachel Syed, the assistant coroner, said that Mr Whitehead had met “exceptionally tragic circumstances”.

Ms Syed added: “There is no evidence that he intended any harm when he injected these drugs.

“It shows the very real risks that faces people when they inject heroin and continue to use other drugs.”