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DreamlessNights
06-10-2014, 08:04 AM
Hello everyone. I've had this short story (five chapters) idea for quite some time now and I'm just now getting around to writing it.

Basically my main character is a graduating high schooler who happens to be a recovering alcoholic as well.

Now seeing as she's graduating, going to a dance and a party and life's going well, she's kind of going to want to drink. Except it gets out of hand, she goes home alone and ends up dying from alcohol poisoning or from taking too many pain pills to stop the pain.

I was trying to figure out, how much would she have to drink to get alcohol poisoning and what kind of pills would be able to kill her (either on their own or from being combined with alcohol) and how many.

I know, it's kind of a weird question... Any help though would be great. Also, if you don't find the ending scenario believable or realistic, please feel free to chime in and let me know why or how I could improve the story.

KemalKinali
06-10-2014, 03:32 PM
Only thing I know is that when you take too many pills (paracetamol), without alcohol, it takes a few days for you to die, and there would be a painful stomache ache as you die. I was told this by a doctor once.

King Neptune
06-10-2014, 04:38 PM
It takes a large amount of alcohol to kill a human, but it depends on body size. As for pills, barbiturates are the traditional ones for this purpose.

see this page for lethal dose of barbiturates:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbiturate
You could search for the lethal dose of alcohol, but it is very variable, and in combination the lethal dosage is lower than for each separately.

There are other drugs that could do the work.

asroc
06-10-2014, 05:53 PM
Alcohol in combination with prescription narcotics (oxycodone, hydrocodone etc.) is a common cause of fatal respiratory failure.


Only thing I know is that when you take too many pills (paracetamol), without alcohol, it takes a few days for you to die, and there would be a painful stomache ache as you die. I was told this by a doctor once.

Yes, acetaminophen (paracetamol) is highly hepatotoxic and can cause acute liver failure.

CharlieUK
06-10-2014, 05:58 PM
It depends, Does she have a medium-long term drinking problem? If so, then almost any amount could kill her due to acute liver failure. However, If it's an isolated incident.... like an overdose attempt, then you're looking at some kind of Opioid really... Barbiturates will do the job, but they're not as common now, and won't kill ya quite as well :P

I would probably go with MST (Morphine Sulphate Tablets); they are regularly used to treat chronic pain, they'll pretty easy to get off your Doctor and mixed with alcohol you wouldn't need more than a handful to do the job. Next to that, maybe Dihydrocodeine...although they're more widespread in Europe and Australia than the US.

Also, Do you want to character to actually die? or survive?

DreamlessNights
06-10-2014, 11:55 PM
It depends, Does she have a medium-long term drinking problem? If so, then almost any amount could kill her due to acute liver failure. However, If it's an isolated incident.... like an overdose attempt, then you're looking at some kind of Opioid really... Barbiturates will do the job, but they're not as common now, and won't kill ya quite as well :P

I would probably go with MST (Morphine Sulphate Tablets); they are regularly used to treat chronic pain, they'll pretty easy to get off your Doctor and mixed with alcohol you wouldn't need more than a handful to do the job. Next to that, maybe Dihydrocodeine...although they're more widespread in Europe and Australia than the US.

Also, Do you want to character to actually die? or survive?

What is a...medium-long term drinking problem?

It's going to be an accidental suicide if it's the pills that are her cause of death or she just dies from the alcohol... The thing is, I'm not sure if there's a reason for her to have any kind of prescription, so I was wondering if some type of general unprescribed pain pill would...do the trick.

I want the character to die.

benbradley
06-11-2014, 04:46 AM
It depends, Does she have a medium-long term drinking problem? If so, then almost any amount could kill her due to acute liver failure.
That seems unlikely even for the most hardcore teen drinker/alcoholic - it probably takes probably well over a decade of getting drunk every day to cause that kind of liver damage.

What is a...medium-long term drinking problem?
Probably sveral decades (think of those who have had liver transplants - Mickey Mantle, David Crosby), and as I said, this doesn't seem applicable here.

It's going to be an accidental suicide if it's the pills that are her cause of death or she just dies from the alcohol... The thing is, I'm not sure if there's a reason for her to have any kind of prescription, so I was wondering if some type of general unprescribed pain pill would...do the trick.

I want the character to die.
Is her being a "recovering alcoholic" so she can die from drining and/or drugs? Even a first-time drinker can die from (accidental) alcohol poisoning - I'm not sure but I think this happens a lot more often than "experienced" drinkers dying this way.

Sometimes (too often, actually) a first-time drinker will drink way too much, such as at a teen party with no adult supervision. They don't know how much they're "supposed" to drink to get what effect - if one drinks a large amount (usually mixed drinks made strong with hard liquor, which makes it easier to consume a large amount of alcohol) in a short period of time (maybe in less than an hour) and especially someone who weighs little (such as a skinny teenage girl), they can quickly pass out and die from alcohol poisoning.

Here's a search on teen alcohol poisoning - read the news stories to see examples:
https://www.google.com/search?q=teen+alcool+poisoning

nikkidj
06-11-2014, 07:08 PM
Anything that depresses the central nervous system, in combination with alcohol, could kill her. Narcotics like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine are common around the house, as are anxiolytics like Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and Restoril. Another thing that could do it is Dextromethorphan, commonly found in cough syrups like Robitussin DM and sold on the streets as Skittles. It also causes respiratory depression, and is a common drug of abuse in the teenage set. Combined with alcohol, it could be lethal.

You need to be careful with the amount of alcohol she consumes, as it could cause her to vomit. Of course, she could vomit, aspirate, and suffocate too. And since she's a recovered alcoholic, it's common for former addicts to try to pick up where they left off and overdose. That's one of the reasons why heroin addicts often die the first time they fall off the wagon-- they take what they were used to taking, and it's too much for their bodies to handle.

We had a case here in Indiana last year of a girl who went to college and went to a party. She fell down some steps and suffered a lethal head injury. Her friends just thought she was drunk and put her in a bed to sleep it off. When they checked on her in the morning she wasn't breathing, and by the time they called EMS it was too late. Just another thought on a way she could pass away.

OK, now I'm officially depressed.

boron
06-11-2014, 09:49 PM
Alcohol + morphine (or other opiates: codeine...) can cause respiratory depression and death. So, it's basically a depressant (alcohol) + another depressant (opiates, barbiturates...).

Alcohol + paracetamol can cause liver damage, but rarely, as I know, and death even more rarely. Does not sound realistic to me.

Fatal dose of alcohol depends on the body weight, individual's alcohol tolerance and the drinking speed.
"For a 100 lbs man or woman it would take only 8-10 drinks in one hour to reach the lethal level." From here (http://www.intoxikon.com/Pubs/Facts%20on%20ALCOHOL%20POISONING_4_7_05.pdf).

Death from alcohol poisoning alone is very rare, though. When you are very drunk, you fall asleep or lose consciousness, which prevents you to drink more...Most alcohol-related deaths occur due to hypothermia and accidents.

cbenoi1
06-12-2014, 12:02 AM
She can fall into an ethylic coma. Depending on how she is positioned on the bed, she can breathe her own puke and die from asphyxiation. That's how Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham died, btw. Granted, some body size was involved, but if she got into the habit of sleeping with her belly on a pillow, it's possible even a low body weight can force out the stomach's contents.

-cb

Jamesaritchie
06-12-2014, 02:02 AM
It's difficult to say because no two people are the same. I suggest you ask a doctor about this one.

I had alcohol poisoning just once, back when I was young and foolish. There was a game where you go in a bar and drink shots of whiskey of mixed drinks very fast. Then you buy a six pack, and drink it before you get to the next bar. Rinse and repeat. We did this form the time we got of work at five, right up until closing time at three in the morning.

Alcohol poisoning is not fun, and for three days I was in horribly bad shape. But I have no idea how much I drank. Probably twice what would have normally made me pass out. It was being with friends and constantly on the run from bar to bar that kept us going.

Jamesaritchie
06-12-2014, 02:07 AM
Only thing I know is that when you take too many pills (paracetamol), without alcohol, it takes a few days for you to die, and there would be a painful stomache ache as you die. I was told this by a doctor once.



Yes, with something like paracetamol, but several types of ordinary prescription drugs will kill you fast, if you take enough of them. I've known at least a dozen people to die strictly from prescription pill overdose, and none of them lasted more than four hours after taking the pills.

It takes a lot of paracetamol to kill a person, and that would not be a pleasant way to go.

CharlieUK
06-13-2014, 02:35 PM
It's going to be an accidental suicide if it's the pills that are her cause of death or she just dies from the alcohol... The thing is, I'm not sure if there's a reason for her to have any kind of prescription, so I was wondering if some type of general unprescribed pain pill would...do the trick.

I want the character to die.

A opiate based pain killer is what you’re after then. You can get them over the counter, or at least in the UK you can, most likely something with codeine. Although, obviously if its counter bought then it’s going to be weaker so it’s likely she’ll have to take a lot more, and then makes it much less likely for her to ‘accidently’ overdose even with alcohol. It’s more probable that she would pass out and die choking on her own vomit.

WriteMinded
06-13-2014, 06:49 PM
She doesn't need pills. The alcohol can kill her without any help. All she has to do is get it down fast enough.

Alcohol shuts your brain down. Think of it as starting from the outside and working in. When it gets deep enough, the autonomic nervous system will "forget" to function.

Blood Alcohol level of .40 is dangerous. .50 is dead.

kenpochick
06-13-2014, 06:59 PM
Dreamless, I'm a toxicologist and have reviewed many a death due to alcohol and drugs. Average alcohol concentration on deaths due to alcohol alone actually average a 0.350. Yes, people can reach higher and there have been even extreme cases where people have reached a 0.70 and survived but those cases make medical journals due to their rarity.

It would be really easy to die due to alcohol. The whole 21 shots on your 21st birthday things is an easy way. Basically rapid consumption before the body can make you throw up, easily overwhelms the ability to eliminate the alcohol and you die. Vomiting and passing out are actually a defense mechanism to prevent this.

A 130 pound female would gain a 0.197 per Four Loko. Have her drink two of those rapidly and she's dead. Otherwise, adding any other CNS depressant will do it.

Aggy B.
06-14-2014, 01:41 AM
Hello everyone. I've had this short story (five chapters) idea for quite some time now and I'm just now getting around to writing it.

Basically my main character is a graduating high schooler who happens to be a recovering alcoholic as well.

Now seeing as she's graduating, going to a dance and a party and life's going well, she's kind of going to want to drink. Except it gets out of hand, she goes home alone and ends up dying from alcohol poisoning or from taking too many pain pills to stop the pain.

I was trying to figure out, how much would she have to drink to get alcohol poisoning and what kind of pills would be able to kill her (either on their own or from being combined with alcohol) and how many.

I know, it's kind of a weird question... Any help though would be great. Also, if you don't find the ending scenario believable or realistic, please feel free to chime in and let me know why or how I could improve the story.

Alcohol and acetaminophen will kill. And pretty much anyone can get their hands on a bottle of Tylenol. Not a very comfortable death though unless you can get enough of the alcohol into your system to pass out.

DreamlessNights
06-15-2014, 08:52 AM
That seems unlikely even for the most hardcore teen drinker/alcoholic - it probably takes probably well over a decade of getting drunk every day to cause that kind of liver damage.

Probably sveral decades (think of those who have had liver transplants - Mickey Mantle, David Crosby), and as I said, this doesn't seem applicable here.

Is her being a "recovering alcoholic" so she can die from drining and/or drugs? Even a first-time drinker can die from (accidental) alcohol poisoning - I'm not sure but I think this happens a lot more often than "experienced" drinkers dying this way.

Sometimes (too often, actually) a first-time drinker will drink way too much, such as at a teen party with no adult supervision. They don't know how much they're "supposed" to drink to get what effect - if one drinks a large amount (usually mixed drinks made strong with hard liquor, which makes it easier to consume a large amount of alcohol) in a short period of time (maybe in less than an hour) and especially someone who weighs little (such as a skinny teenage girl), they can quickly pass out and die from alcohol poisoning.

Here's a search on teen alcohol poisoning - read the news stories to see examples:
https://www.google.com/search?q=teen+alcool+poisoning

Well, the way I had it in my head was the idea of a former teenage alcoholic who's gotten past her problem, she's doing good, she has all this plans and then bam, she ends up losing everything from just starting to drink one more time. It's kind of a..."value your life, every minute count" type of thing. It's inspired by a character on a show and a what-if situation really.

Thank you for the search. :) I'll definitely check it out. Maybe I will change it around so she's not recovering, I just sort of like the turn of events for the idea.

DreamlessNights
06-15-2014, 08:55 AM
Anything that depresses the central nervous system, in combination with alcohol, could kill her. Narcotics like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine are common around the house, as are anxiolytics like Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and Restoril. Another thing that could do it is Dextromethorphan, commonly found in cough syrups like Robitussin DM and sold on the streets as Skittles. It also causes respiratory depression, and is a common drug of abuse in the teenage set. Combined with alcohol, it could be lethal.

You need to be careful with the amount of alcohol she consumes, as it could cause her to vomit. Of course, she could vomit, aspirate, and suffocate too. And since she's a recovered alcoholic, it's common for former addicts to try to pick up where they left off and overdose. That's one of the reasons why heroin addicts often die the first time they fall off the wagon-- they take what they were used to taking, and it's too much for their bodies to handle.

We had a case here in Indiana last year of a girl who went to college and went to a party. She fell down some steps and suffered a lethal head injury. Her friends just thought she was drunk and put her in a bed to sleep it off. When they checked on her in the morning she wasn't breathing, and by the time they called EMS it was too late. Just another thought on a way she could pass away.

OK, now I'm officially depressed.

Ah, thank you for all the information. :) I've heard that about heroin addicts.

Oh, oops sorry about indirectly depressing you. That's really tragic about that girl though.