A COCKTAIL of drugs killed a man who had a background of opioid drug dependency and previous suicide attempts, an inquest heard.

James Henessey, 35, was found on the morning of December 13 by his partner, unresponsive on the living room sofa inside their flat in Cliff Road, Dovercourt.

Toxicology reports ruled the cause of death as being a combination of heroin, methadone and Pregabalin, a medication taken for anxiety.

At an inquest hearing at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court, Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded an open conclusion.

She said: "There was no eye-witness when he took these prescribed medications and the heroin as well."

The court heard there were a number of packets of prescription drugs found at the home but also drugs paraphernalia like needles.

Detective Inspector Jim White explained James's partner had known him to take a "cocktail of drugs" but was not concerned for him the night she left him downstairs.

He added: "She said it also wasn't unusual for James to drink alcohol at the same time."

According to evidence by Clacton GP Dr Al-Najjar, James had been prescribed several medications for depression, anxiety, and aggressive behaviour.

Also there was mention of "suicidal thoughts and intention" on his medical records, and he had been a registered heroin user since 2010.

Dr Al-Najjar, who confirmed James had been a patient at the surgery for seven years, said: "When he came to the surgery, he had reported to two medications - one for depression and anxiety and Diazepam.

"He didn't declare any other medications or substances.

"When we discovered he had problems with drugs, we offered him help with another organisation."

James had a long history of dealings with the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, known as EPUT, as well as the Essex Specialist Treatment and Recovery Service, Open Road and the Old Road Medical Practice in Clacton.

As a result of his death, recommendations to improve how substance misuse and mental health teams share information, especially regarding a service user's prescribed medication, have been made.

Ms Beasley-Murray ordered EPUT to deliver an action plan by Friday showing how these recommendations would materialise.

The family politely declined to comment further.