Musician died of accidental heroin overdose after his band’s tour was canceled, inquest hears

Musician, 21, died after accidental heroin overdose after his band’s tour was canceled due to lockdown, inquest hears

  • Dylan Rocha died of heroin overdose after Covid halted his band’s tour
  • Mr Rocha’s band Happy2000 were due to play a UK tour in March 2020
  • He had already been in rehab and recovered before the tour

An aspiring musician struggling with heroin addiction has died of an accidental overdose. Covid has canceled his band’s tour, an inquest has heard.

Dylan Rocha, 21, saw his heroin addiction worsen after the pandemic prevented him from seeing his friends or girlfriend, his mother Claire told the inquest.

The group of guitarists and singers Happy2000 was supposed to go on a national tour in March 2020, but it was canceled, which “triggered” their addiction.

Mr Rocha had been in rehab and his addiction had improved before taking the fatal dose of heroin cut with isotonitazene – a synthetic opioid 500 times more potent than morphine – after a night out.

Mr Rocha had been in rehab and his addiction had improved before taking the lethal dose of heroin cut with isotonitazene

Claire Rocha described her son as “the life and soul of the party” and said he was “well loved, funny and smart”.

She said: “He had a natural rhythm, played guitar and sang. He was in a band Happy2000 and they were about to go on a national tour when covid hit and it had to be cancelled.

“The lockdown meant he wasn’t able to see his girlfriend or friends and triggered the problem he already had with heroin.

“Dylan was loved by everyone, he was funny, smart, stylish and cool. He was the life and soul of the party.

The Southampton-based band had released music on the SoundCloud streaming platform.

The band posted on their Facebook page at the time of the tour’s cancellation: “As you all know, we had to cancel our upcoming tour. We are all heartbroken and it has crushed us a bit.

Ms Rocha said she believed her son had undiagnosed bipolar and turned to drugs and alcohol for treatment.

She said: ‘I’m pretty sure Dylan was undiagnosed bipolar. We had to consult a private counsellor. Dylan did not engage with advice.

“Following the breakdown of a relationship, the GP prescribed him antidepressants which he took for a few weeks and then stopped. He started self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.

Mr Rocha was found in the bathroom of his flat which he shared with his girlfriend Imogen Goodridge in Southampton on July 24, 2021.

Miss Goodridge told the inquest she spent the day with Mr Rocha in their flat before he went out to the pub with friends and she went to bed.

She said she woke up naturally around 4 a.m. and was worried because Mr Rocha was not in bed next to her.

Miss Goodridge then discovered Dylan face down in their bathroom and called an ambulance.

She said: ‘I feel totally devastated that I slept in and didn’t hear it. Dylan had a huge impact on my life. He was such a good person and we are all still in shock that this happened.

Miss Goodridge added that Dylan had been in rehab and was ‘good’ after he had a serious overdose at his mum’s house in May 2020.

Describing the incident, she said: ‘We called an ambulance and performed CPR as they were on the way, they thought he had taken too much heroin which knocked him unconscious.

“Claire found out about his drug use and she was angry and upset and he decided he wanted to quit and he went to rehab.”

After coming out of rehab, he got a job at clothing store Urban Outfitters which he enjoyed but lost it in March 2021 due to staff cuts, according to the inquest.

Miss Goodridge said she did not believe he was using heroin after leaving the rehab he attended in Bournemouth, Dorset.

The group of guitarists and singers Happy2000 was to go on a national tour in March 2020

The group of guitarists and singers Happy2000 was to go on a national tour in March 2020

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Rocha had alcohol, morphine and isotonitazene levels in his system. Isotonitazene is a synthetic opioid that is used to cut heroin so it can be sold at cheaper prices.

The investigation learned that the synthetic drug is five hundred times more potent than morphine.

The senior coroner for Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton, Christopher Wilkinson, ruled Mr Rocha’s death was accidental.

He said: “Dylan’s cause of death was an overdose of drugs, specifically morphine, isotonitazene and alcohol into his system which combined to leave central nervous system depression and unfortunately , his death.”

“There is nothing here to suggest that Dylan intended to take his own life. This is truly a very sad and tragic accidental death and I register his death as an accidental death.


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