Alcohol is often used as a ‘supplement’ when drugs are used to end life. Alcohol serves several functions. Firstly, if the lethal drug is especially bitter, it will 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 an effective means of removing this after-taste. As this is to be the person’s last drink, a favoured spirit or liqueur makes sense. People can sip at their favourite Scotch or Baileys Irish Cream and the bitter taste will quickly disappear.
Secondly, alcohol can play a useful role in ‘potentiating’ lethal drugs. To follow a lethal drug with an alcoholic drink will usually enhance the drug’s 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 the alcohol is taken after the consumption of the lethal drugs so that there is no clouding of a person’s mind.
Note - if a person does not
like alcohol, the person should not force themselves to drink it, especially if they find the thought distasteful. The drugs described in this book cause death with or without alcohol. The