A CARLISLE mum's death was 'drug-related' concluded a coroner at an inquest held this week.

Anita Rothery, 53, of Silloth Street, died on April 14, 2020.

Area coroner Kirsty Gomersal heard from her sister, Stella Rothery, that Miss Rothery had a happy childhood.

"She was a happy little girl, loved life, always happy and cheerful and never got into trouble," said Miss Rothery.

She later went to Trinity Secondary School. "She was quite a quiet person but was always the first person to stick up for others," said her sister.

During 2007 to 2009 the women lost their parents and uncle. "It was a difficult period for us all," said Miss Rothery.

The Cockermouth inquest heard Miss Rothery had a history of drug use and had been engaging with Unity, the drug and alcohol recovery service, for many years.

She was on a "maintenance dose" of methadone but the inquest heard she had been buying more.

A post mortem revealed the amount of methadone in her blood was in the "high therapeutic to potentially toxic range". This caused aspiration of gastric contents and pulmonary edema.

Martin Bennett, a mental health nurse with Unity, said Miss Rothery "had a long history of using drugs". In the weeks before her death he had concerns about her physical health and that she could be taking more methadone than had been prescribed, he said.

He had arranged for her to have a support worker who, he said, she was looking forward to starting with.

Miss Rothery died at the Whernside home of her friend, Glen Adams. He said she often stayed there and he was aware she had bought methadone in the past as her prescription was not lasting the week. Police seized several bottles from his home.

He was the last person to see Miss Rothery, on the morning of her death. "She was drinking from a bottle of methadone and I could see she was under the influence. She said she did not feel very well and went to bed," said Mr Adams.

Later that day he found her unresponsive in the bedroom and called emergency services.

Miss Gomersal said: "Anita was the loved sister of Stella and Brian, loved mum of Kevin and friend to many.

"It's such a very very sad loss, my heart goes out to you and your family."

She concluded: "There was no evidence Anita intended to harm herself, all the evidence points to an accidental overdose of methadone. She appears to have been buying more methadone than she was prescribed.

"This is a drug-related death."