The Peaceful Pill eHandbook Drugs, Swallowing & Taste
A person wishing to die will need to consume a lethal quantity of their chosen drug. Such drugs are often bitter to taste. Taking a large number of tablets can also be difficult if a person has a problem with swallowing. Some diseases of the throat and oesophagus, and some neurological diseases like Motor Neurone Disease can so severely effect swallowing, that oral ingestion of drugs is simply not an option.
To avoid the bitter taste of the lethal dose, drugs are sometimes mixed with another substance. This approach is often unsatisfactory as mixing an unpleasant-tasting drug with another substance to disguise the taste, often results in an even larger volume of an unpalatable substance. Another option has been to spray the tongue and palate with a topical anaesthetic like Lignocaine. Anaesthetic sprays can work, but they are prescription items and require practice in administration.
The most effective method of successfully consuming the required lethal quantity of a bitter-tasting drug is to turn it into a liquid which can then be quickly drunk. This can be done by crushing tablets. Removing the gelatin covering of capsules and then dissolving the powder in a common solvent such as water is another option. Even if the drug does not fully dissolve, the powder can still be made drinkable by rapid stirring with a teaspoon so that it forms a suspension of the fine particles.
By keeping the volume of the liquid to be drunk to around 100ml (approx. 1/3 cup), only a few mouthfuls will be needed. Any bitter after-taste can then effectively be addressed by following up with another stronger tasting drink - usually alcohol (see Drugs & Alcohol).