Is death by heroin injection an awesom way to go?

I know it’s macabre, but speaking strictly from the POV of the guy about to off himself with a lethal injection of heroin, how does it feel to him?

Do you get like a sublime major rush then poof you’re dead?

Is it preferable to say, a bullet to the head?

If it is indeed an awesome way to die, how come we don’t do this for death row inmates?

IDK, but usually over consumption of something is not a pleasant experience even if a smaller dose is.

Many people who have died from a heroin OD are found with the needle still in their arm. So it’s probably a pretty quick way to go.

Assuming for the moment that a heroin OD is indeed a great way to die ecstatically happy, it would be the last way society would execute criminals. We want them to die miserably.

As to the rest of your questions, how would any living person know? Perhaps, if you take too little and survive, the recovery from it overshadows whatever ecstasy one might have felt from a fatal dose.

I suspect it’s one of the more pleasant ways to go. Drugs users in the midst of an overdose get very very angry with paramedics and nurses for giving them Narcan, which temporarily blocks the action of the heroin, ruins their high and reminds their body how to breathe again. It’s possible that at the very last second when death is inevitable, it suddenly becomes horrific, but somehow I doubt it.

lethal injection involves first putting the person to sleep and then stopping their heart. Hanging snaps the neck instantly. Gas renders the person unconscious and electrocution fries the brain. Having watched both my parents slowly die of cancer I would think capital punishment a less miserably way to go.

Maybe so, but “we” don’t want executed prisoners to die in spasms of pleasure. I don’t actually have a site for this, but I bet there would be a very substantial majority who would prefer an inmate to die like, say, switching off a light bulb, rather than dying while experiencing something like an orgasm.

Huh? We want them to die miserably? I am in favor of capital punishment, in certain cases, but I see absolutely no reason to cause unnecessary pain to those we must kill.

As others have chimed in I also disagree with ‘we want them to die miserably’, many forms of execution used were done that way because it was less miserable then the alternative (or at least though to be so). Electrocution was suppose to be, even going back to the guillotine, that too was a device that was to make it less miserable.

Your later clarification that many would like them to just be turned off like a switch sounds more realistic along with perhaps many would be opposed if they were given a pleasant way to go.

I heard on NPR over the weekend that those that die with the needle in their arm tend to have passed from anaphalactic shock rather than the overdose of the drug. But my experience with heroin users is limited to some close observation rather than personal use.

I agree that there are possibly many who want to deny the executed a “pleasant” death. I don’t specifically agree with this. I only care that they’re GONE. If giving them a little happiness as they go is part of the deal, then fine with me. But are there accounts of the process from ODs who were saved?

I don’t know how this question can be answered with any precision. There are certainly people who’ve overdosed who have been saved. But how could you determine just how close to a fatal overdose they got? I’m sure it varies on too many things – from one person to the next, the strength or composition of what they take, etc. It may even be that a dose that kills a person today might not have killed the same person a year ago.

And perhaps the level of theoretical ecstatic joy (which itself probably varies from person to person) a user gets will increase in conjunction with the size of the overdose.

Well if we’re paying for hookers that would probably rankle a few taxpayers but I think we’ve moved beyond burning them at the stake or making them listen to Justin Beiber.

People I have known (professionally) who have overdosed and been successfully resuscitated have usually said that they never even realized that they overdosed and don’t remember falling unconscious, they only remember waking up. Heroin is sometimes cut with sleeping aids, which may contribute to this (or may not, I’m no pharmacologist). However, a minority have also said that they realized that they had taken too much and panicked or were terrified immediately before they passed out. My own experience with a heavy dose of an opiate in the emergency room was panic for a short time as I was afraid I had been given too much and was about to overdose, which subsided in a while; one of my family members ended up in the ER over the holidays and told me the exact same thing. It was very unpleasant (until it wasn’t), and if I continued to feel as though I was losing control and overdosing until I actually did, it would have been very, very unpleasant. If a narcotic had to be used in lethal injection I feel the better practice would be to administer a sedative first.

In animals we give them propofol first to make them fall asleep and become nonreactive. Then we administer a fatal dose of pentobarbital. It’s always fast and peaceful. I’m not sure why we don’t use this method for prisoners. Seems a perfectly neutral way to go, to me.

As to heroin overdose, I can’t render a valid opinion, as I’ve never done it or known anyone who did. All I can go by is all those episodes of drug addiction shows where people take heroin and then pass out. Seems like if they just keep going and stop breathing while passed out, they would die pretty peacefully. Just speculating, though.

The European patent owners for these two drugs forbid their use for human executions.

Well, there is your answer.

While I don’t think prisoners sentenced to life should be given lots of goodies [though I do think that Norway has a decent idea about rehabilitation] I have no objection to the idea of a heroin overdose. But then again, I am not against a hanging, electrocution or a firing squad. Of those, I think I would prefer the heroin as it would probably be a lot less messy then those other 3. It would have the same advantage as the original lethal injection it would seem. A first smaller shot of heroin for the relaxation then the overdose.

We do use it, sort of - pentobarbital is the current execution drug in many states. There was formerly a three drug cocktail used, pancuronium bromide as a muscle relaxant, sodium thiopental as an anesthetic, and potassium chloride to stop the heart. A European boycott made sodium thiopental scarce around 2011, so a switch to pentobarbital was made, then (as Duckster says) all three started getting scarce around 2012, so many states switched to pentobarbital as a single drug method of execution, often getting it manufactured in compounding pharmacies instead of imported.

As far as heroin, not likely to happen soon; if you think it’s difficult getting pentobarbital, try getting your hands on pharmaceutical grade heroin (actually don’t, it’s a figure of speech). It’s a schedule I drug with no legitimate medical use in the U.S. and totally illegal to import. However, due to shortages of other drugs Missouri just executed an inmate two weeks ago with midazolam and hydromorphone. Midazolam is a benzodiazapene and hydromorphone is an potent opiod narcotic better known under the trade name Dilaudid. That’s probably the closest you can get to the hypothetical heroin execution.

I used to investigate OD deaths. I don’t know if they died quickly but it seems most went unconscious very quickly. It wasn’t unusual to find the needle still in the arm. One guy died standing up. Well, almost. Evidently, he shot up while standing at the bathroom sink, put the needle on the sink, crossed his arms in front of him on the sink and put his head on his arms. That’s how he was found. Stiff as a board, just standing/leaning there. That was weird.

I’ve seen this post for quite a while now; and finally decided to click on it.
I have to say I’m surprised that no one has posted this link yet:
The how and why of heroin addiction. by Roy Kelly

I’m not sure what the original source is, but I saw it on Reddit last night. I thought it was a pretty amazing monologue.