This content requires Adobe Flash Player version
Either you do not have Adobe Flash Player installed,
or your version is too old,
or there is a problem with your Flash installation and we were unable to detect it.
Alcohol is often used as a supplement when drugs are used to end life. It serves several functions. Firstly, lethal drugs taken orally are often bitter and leave a prolonged unpleasant after- taste. Even when the drug is consumed in a few quick mouthfuls, a seriously ill person can find this taste quite distressing. Strong alcohol is effective in removing this after-taste. As this is to be the person’s last drink a favoured spirit or liqueur is often chosen. People sip at their favourite Scotch or Baileys Irish Cream and the bitter taste quickly disappears.
Secondly, alcohol plays a useful role in ‘potentiating’ the lethal drug. To follow the drug with an alcoholic drink will usually enhance its speed of action and potency. This is true of most of the commonly-used lethal, oral drugs.
Thirdly, alcohol is a useful calming agent (anxiolytic) in what is inevitably a stressful time. It is important that any alcohol is taken after the consumption of the lethal drugs so that there is no clouding of a person’s mind.
Note though, people should not force themselves to drink alcohol, especially if they find the thought distasteful. The drugs described in this book cause death, with or without alcohol. The most likely effect of excluding the alcohol is that the process will take longer. Liquid morphine (Ordine) can be used as a supplement/potentiator by people with an aversion to alcohol.