Suicidal Chinese Man Avoids Death After Consuming 200 Fake Sleeping Pills

March 1, 2016 Updated: March 1, 2016

Counterfeit goods from China have dismayed many a buyer for a long time, but in one case recently, they’ve proved to be an accidental life-saver.

On Feb. 29, the friend of a man named Ye from the city of Qingdao in Shandong Province called the police to inform them that Ye had attempted suicide by swallowing sleeping pills, according to Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily. The police found Ye in a motel sleeping with two empty bottles of sleeping pills besides him, and immediately called an ambulance.

According to footage from local news station, when a police officer called for Ye to wake up and gave him a nudge, the young man suddenly sat up quickly and muttered: “All right, I’m not sleeping anymore.” Ye even lit up a cigarette, and puffed away as if nothing had happened.

What’s unique about fake drugs is that those who really want to die cannot die, and those who want to live cannot live.

Doctors at the hospital later determined that the sleeping pills Ye consumed were fakes. Ye, a 28-year-old from Shaoxing City in the east China province of Zhejiang, later explained that he brought the pills online for 50 yuan (about $7), and journeyed north to Qingdao to kill himself after getting into a heated argument with his family back home.

On Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, some netizens wondered if the online seller should get good or bad reviews.

“I thought the fake drugs only cause harm to people. Now these fakes are saving people, wrote a netizen Guangdong. Another netizen, “woo253,” wrote “Fake drugs are everywhere in China.”

“What’s unique about fake drugs is that those who really want to die cannot die, and those who want to live cannot live,” wrote a netizen using the moniker “k5co6plci8.”

This is not the first time this year that an attempt at suicide in China was thwarted by fake drugs. In Jiangsu Province, a man by the name of Wang Kai survived after taking nine pills of potassium cyanide in an suicide attempt, reported the state-run Xinhua News Agency in January. Potassium cyanide is extremely toxic and small amounts are lethal, but as it turns out, the pills Wang Kai took were also counterfeits.

Follow Frank on Twitter: @HwaiDer