When someone has a opiate overdose, they can have no or almost no pulse and can have shallow breathing or stop breathing. When you stop breathing (for example) by drowning, you can survive for a long time without breathing, so it seems that stopping breathing because of the overdose won't kill very easily.

Is the lack of (detectable) pulse due to the blood pressure going really low instead of the anecdotal explanation that the heart has stopped? Can the low blood pressure be more immediately dangerous than the reduced breathing because it makes the heart's pumping ineffective and cuts off oxygen from the brain?

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    $\begingroup$ This is an old question, and has an open bounty so can't be closed, but I would vote to close for lack of research if it didn't. And incidentally, without particular circumstances (e.g., hypothermia), you can NOT survive for a long time without breathing. $\endgroup$ – De Novo Jan 29 '19 at 19:27
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, this is quite a puzzling question the way it is framed, I'd like to vote to close it but can't because of the bounty so I'll just downvote. This shouldn't have been bumped. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jan 29 '19 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for bump then. I came across this question, thought it was a decent one and wanted an answer. $\endgroup$ – cr0 Jan 31 '19 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ If it is vote-to-closed as unclear, wouldn't a comment highlighting exactly why it is seen as unclear be useful. At the moment, the OP hasn't gotten any comments on the contents. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Feb 25 '19 at 8:23

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