A CORONER has highlighted the “scourge” of drugs in Northern Ireland at the inquest into the death of a Clabby man who had significantly high levels of Fentanyl and MDMA in his system.

Graeme Stronge was found lying on a sofa in the living room of his home on Camgart Road in an unresponsive state by his brother, Glen, at 5.30am on May 28, 2017.

Despite efforts to resuscitate him by both his brother and the emergency services, the 36-year-old was pronounced dead several hours later.

A Post Mortem confirmed that his death was due to poisoning by drugs.

Mr. Stronge was found to have a number of drugs in his body, including the heavily regulated pain medication Fentanyl, which is “at least 50 times more potent than morphine”, and MDMA, more commonly known as ‘Ecstasy’.

Former state pathologist, Professor Jack Crane, who carried out the Post Mortem, told the inquest at Omagh Courthouse that both of these drugs were found in “very high levels”, adding that the amount of Fentanyl had been in the “fatal range”.

Coroner Patrick McGurgan told the hearing that the usage of Fentanyl, a controlled drug, was becoming an ever-increasing problem in Northern Ireland, adding: “Very worryingly so.”

In his evidence, Prof Crane spoke of the “worldwide concern” over the rise in the number of deaths linked to Fentanyl.

Prof Crane revealed that, in 2016, there were 10 deaths in Northern Ireland linked to Fentanyl, while in 2017 this number had risen to 13.

“It is becoming a recognised problem here and elsewhere in the UK,” he added.

At the end of the inquest, the Coroner said that by shining a light on the increasing number of drugs deaths in Northern Ireland, he was hoping that “something positive flows”.

Mr. McGurgan also passed on his condolences to the Stronge family on the death of their brother.