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Dan J
07-10-2007, 11:18 PM
Hey all,

I'm currently writing a short and at the end of it the main protagonist gets talked into taking a pill, I then want a really graphic and realistic scene where he dies, but I havn't got a clue about what happens in your last moments before you die from drug useage so could someone please help me.

Stew21
07-10-2007, 11:22 PM
depends on the drug. what kind of drug is it? what are it's indications?
and just one pill it must be a very powerful drug or must have a particular effect on your character; a fatal allergy, a pill that puts too much strain on some part of his body (heart?) that is already weak from something else - a disorder of some sort that would cause a more severe reaction in him than in others?
It really depends.
What's the drug? what is it's purpose? speeder? downer?
that'll determine what happens next I think.

MidnightMuse
07-10-2007, 11:24 PM
I think for a definitive answer, you'd have to ask someone who's dead.

But for some educated possibilities, I agree with Stew - it's gonna depend on the drug taken.

Dan J
07-10-2007, 11:36 PM
It would more than likely be an ecstasy tablet, and I could bump it up to 2 or 3 tablets, I just heard that in some cases all it takes is one tablet to die.

Fenika
07-10-2007, 11:58 PM
Try starting here:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=ecstasy+overdose+symptoms&spell=1

Keep in mind- you have the mental and physical effects of the drug. Just b/c the physical stuff is going on, doesn't mean the mind is equiped to process that information. Or perhaps he interprets the information in a strange way and then *poof*, he's dead.

I'm sure plenty of drug overdosers have been revived. They may or may not have posted their experience on the internet (but prolly not).

Cheers,
Christina

MidnightMuse
07-11-2007, 12:54 AM
I just heard that in some cases all it takes is one tablet to die.

That's very true - some people have collapsed and died after taking only 1 tablet. That can be true of any drug, some people can survive them, some can't.

I'd suggest it may be a safe bet to describe your victim having hallucinations, then just flat-out dropping dead.

J. Weiland
07-11-2007, 01:00 AM
Well after they brought me back, I realized I had forgotten everything after "We are losing him. Clear."







;)

MidnightMuse
07-11-2007, 01:06 AM
So you don't have PROOF they went through your pockets for loose change?




Good :D

benbradley
07-11-2007, 01:54 AM
It would more than likely be an ecstasy tablet, and I could bump it up to 2 or 3 tablets, I just heard that in some cases all it takes is one tablet to die.
I suppose there are many ways one could die from drugs. Some combinations of prescription drugs have fatal interactions, so if one is already taking one drug, then one tablet of an incompatible drug may cause death.

You ask about ecstasy, here's Wikipedia's entry for it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDMA
Stew21 gives some good pointers. While most illegally obtained and recreationally used drugs are often not safe to begin with (as that article states, dose can vary a lot and there can be unknown impurities), it's probably not "just a coincidence" when someone dies after taking one pill - there are likely several factors involved - the person's physical condition, how much alcohol he has been drinking, how much sleep he's recently had, and such. Someone who is very sleepy and tired who takes a 'downer' may well (okay, I'm just speculating here, but you get the idea) fall into a deep sleep, coma, and/or just die quietly in their sleep.
Indirect effects can be as dangerous as direct effects. Someone who has potential heart problems who takes a stimulant such as estacy may be active (as in dancing all night long) much longer than they should, causing a heart attack.


That's very true - some people have collapsed and died after taking only 1 tablet. That can be true of any drug, some people can survive them, some can't.
I think this is a little overstated, I don't believe ANY drug can cause death from taking only one tablet (or one dose through other means), though it may be true of the stronger recreational drugs.

Here's a dramatic drug death I recall from the news many years ago:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Bias

sunna
07-11-2007, 02:07 AM
If it's ecstasy, check out PMA, which I am not even going to try to spell. It's either imitation E, or a byproduct of the process of making E. I don't know much about it, but I do know PMA can raise your body temp pretty dramatically. People dying from it often have convulsions. I've been told it's a pretty awful way to go.

It's ben a while since I was in a job where I had to know stuff like this though, so definitely research. Good luck!

Mac H.
07-11-2007, 03:12 AM
I think this is a little overstated, I don't believe ANY drug can cause death from taking only one tablet (or one dose through other means), though it may be true of the stronger recreational drugs.You may want to have a word with the Coroner, and explain your point of view.

There have been plenty of documented occassions of people dying after a single tablet - even without any pre-existing health issues.

Examples in the scientific literature include: http://www.springerlink.com/content/j1824276l6k29620/

Some names for you to check out:
* Brandy French
* Lorna Spinks
* Kelly Costello

etc ..

Deaths have occurred with only a single tablet of non-e drugs as well .. such as PMA.

Mac

benbradley
07-11-2007, 06:13 AM
You may want to have a word with the Coroner, and explain your point of view.

There have been plenty of documented occassions of people dying after a single tablet - even without any pre-existing health issues.

Examples in the scientific literature include: http://www.springerlink.com/content/j1824276l6k29620/

Abstract Ingestion of 3,4-methylene dioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as http://www.springerlink.com/content/j1824276l6k29620/xxlarge8220.gifEcstasyhttp://www.springerlink.com/content/j1824276l6k29620/xxlarge8221.gif, can produce toxicity...You mean a single tablet of ECSTASY and I wasn't arguing that it wouldn't cause death. There are plenty of OTHER drugs (as in over-the-counter medications) that don't cause death when one tablet is taken. If you mean recreational "street drugs" (which this thread might arguably be about, but no one spelled it out), then certainly there's no telling what a single tablet has in it or will do.


Some names for you to check out:
* Brandy French
* Lorna Spinks
* Kelly Costello

etc ..

Deaths have occurred with only a single tablet of non-e drugs as well .. such as PMA.

Mac

Fenika
07-11-2007, 06:49 AM
That's very true - some people have collapsed and died after taking only 1 tablet. That can be true of any drug, some people can survive them, some can't.


If you separate these sentences, it is perfectly valid. I'm not sure MM meant to say that 1 dose of anything can have a negative/lethal effect (potentially).
If you take them together, it's still fairly valid. Even tylenol can damage your liver. If you already have a problem, then *poof*- freak accident death. (dunno if this ever happened, so maybe its a crappy example, but still)

Medicine is an art, not a science. That which is meant to be safe, is not always so. Over the counter drugs are pretty darn safe, that's why their available. Doesn't mean they are fail proof.

And it's not always the drugs 'fault' but interactions and combinations (OTCs and booze, or allergic rxns for example)

Cheers,
Christina

Mac H.
07-11-2007, 07:40 AM
You mean a single tablet of ECSTASY and I wasn't arguing that it wouldn't cause death. There are plenty of OTHER drugs (as in over-the-counter medications) that don't cause death when one tablet is taken.Sheesh. I thought when you said "I don't believe ANY drug can cause death from taking only one tablet .." it might include Ecstasy in the 'ANY' category ! (Ecstasy isn't even regarded as a 'hard' drug by most people .. even if it has caused deaths)

Here's an example of a mother giving her daughter a SINGLE legal over-the-counter tablet (well, capsule) causing the daughter's death:


One case of death associated with royal jelly consumption has been reported. An 11-year old girl with a history of asthma was given a 10 ml ampoule (500 mg) of royal jelly the day following the cessation of taking antibiotics for acute tonsillitis. Within 20 minutes of ingestion, the girl experienced diarrhea, acute bronchospasm, and respiratory distress that required immediate medical attention. The child failed to respond to medication and later died.

In that case, it turned out that she'd had royal jelly in the past, but it certainly was a single dose that day. It happened locally - from memory the family brought the child to the hospital, but the hospital wouldn't let them in.

(They had gone to the wrong entrance ... apparently in an emergency panic people don't always follow the fine print about the location of 'after hours' entrances ...)

Very sad.

And the mother had just given her daugher a single capsule of over-the-counter medication.

Mac

Nakhlasmoke
07-11-2007, 09:01 AM
Also, ecstasy won't make you hallucinate, it does rather throw your concept of time though.

Many of the deaths from ecstasy have actually been put down to dehydration, IIRC.

BlueTexas
07-11-2007, 11:16 AM
Hallucinations are believable. But no one has mentioned that the body isn't a perfectly still mass like the movies show.

I've never seen a death from E or any other street drug. But I did see a toxin/drug-filled body die, and there was much violent shaking, clenching and uttering going on.

waylander
07-11-2007, 01:30 PM
If it's ecstasy, check out PMA, which I am not even going to try to spell. It's either imitation E, or a byproduct of the process of making E. I don't know much about it, but I do know PMA can raise your body temp pretty dramatically. People dying from it often have convulsions. I've been told it's a pretty awful way to go.

It's ben a while since I was in a job where I had to know stuff like this though, so definitely research. Good luck!

PMA = para-Methoxyamphetamine

5KidsMom
07-12-2007, 04:32 AM
It really does depend on what's taken. In toxicology we talk about toxidromes - classic grouping of symptoms that give us an idea of what kind of drug we're looking at and how to treat it. Do a search on toxidromes - it will give you an idea of what symptoms go together and what classes of drugs cause them.

Frosty
07-19-2007, 06:00 PM
Here's a page about the ways E can kill you:
http://www.thesite.org/drinkanddrugs/drugsafety/drugsandyourbody/canecstasykill?view=print

Bear in mind that in Britain about 4m people have taken ecstacy, and there have been only a few hundred deaths. Your character is about to get very, very unlucky. :-)

As to effects: firstly, E doesn't make you hallucinate. A, um, a...friend tells me this is what it feels like.

Firstly you swallow the pill (or commonly half a pill) with your drink. You're doing something illicit with other people, so there's a sense of cameraderie and shared risk. Basically nothing happens for a bit as you wait for the drug to enter your system.

After a while, you start "coming up". This feels like somebody just dumped a load of adrenaline into your body: your pulse speeds up, you start taking deep breaths, you talk a bit more loudly and confidently and you're basically a little more extroverted.

For my friend, the main effect of the drug was making him feel this kind of upswelling of love for everone around him. He was with some casual friends and for that night he just felt that he loved them all so much, and he just wanted to help them and hang on their every word adoringly. He also tells me he got extremely horny, and went on to have really amazing, experimentative sex with one of the girls. (Just reporting the facts.) Imagine two people in a shared conspiracy feeling they totally love each other, and also that they're really confident and they can communicate absolutely freely, and you reach the equation E = great sex. :-D

The come down occurs a couple of days later. Basically you feel listless and depressed, and easily upset. That goes away the next day.

As you come to use the drug more, you learn to recognise and manage the highs and lows. You still feel the love and the depression, but you recognise that it's not really you but the drug, and you learn to disassociate yourself from the feelings.

So those are the normal effects. I'd imagine that if you started dying of heatstroke during the "up" phase, you'd hit the comedown immediately, and swing from great elation to great misery. Symptomatically you'd be dying of heatstroke or liver failure or whatever. I guess you'd feel the same as anybody else dying of liver failure, just more depressed and emotional.

Julie Worth
07-19-2007, 06:59 PM
It would more than likely be an ecstasy tablet, and I could bump it up to 2 or 3 tablets, I just heard that in some cases all it takes is one tablet to die.

If you compare ecstasy to cigarettes on a deaths per user per year basis, cigarettes are about 200 times more deadly. So you need to add something, like, you might have the user dance himself to death. To get some insight into the drug experience, take a look at http://www.erowid.org/experiences/

jennifer75
07-21-2007, 02:30 AM
Hey all,

I'm currently writing a short and at the end of it the main protagonist gets talked into taking a pill, I then want a really graphic and realistic scene where he dies, but I havn't got a clue about what happens in your last moments before you die from drug useage so could someone please help me.

Does anybody know what happens moments before you die from drug useage?

Fenika
07-22-2007, 08:43 AM
Does anybody know what happens moments before you die from drug useage?

Yes- try watching ER. in 2007 I'm sure there are plenty of near death and full death experiences, memory gaps notwidthstanding.

5KidsMom
07-23-2007, 06:49 AM
Does anybody know what happens moments before you die from drug useage?

Okay . . .

Your heart rate and blood pressure go sky high, you have a blinding headache, and you die when the blood vessels in your brain rupture.
or
You sludge . . . fluid comes pouring out of every bodily opening - you're puking, having diarrhea, sweating profusely, and you eventually die by drowning in your own respiratory secretions.
or
The chemicals in your brain are altered to the point that your seizure threshold is nonexistent, and you have massive, uncontrollable seizures until you eventually lose your heart rate.
or
The electrical activity in your heart is altered and puts you into a non-perfusing rhythm.
or . . .

It depends on what you took.