It seems that over time the media reports one scary new drug over one scary addiction. Here is our take on the 5 scariest substances out there today.
Illicit methamphetamine use has been increasing throughout America since the 1980’s. From production of the drug to its comedown, it devastates users and sometimes entire communities. The production of methamphetamine may be the drug’s scariest aspect. Using highly explosive chemicals, often in tight quarters, meth can be made in any home or trailer. There are countless stories where houses have exploded within residential neighborhoods. Once the drugs are synthesized via dangerous methods, the violent chain of distribution begins. Traffickers are often organized gangs with ferocious reputations. By purchasing methamphetamine one is directly supporting violent-criminal acts. The methamphetamine user experiences intense mania, paranoia, delusions and sleeplessness. The user may not eat so an emaciated body often ensues. Long term use of methamphetamine has been known to cause permanent-irreversible damage to the brain, even after a long period of abstinence.
PCP, known scientifically as phencyclidine, has heinous effects on the human body. After consuming the drug, paranoia, hallucinations and suicidal impulses are just some of what may result. There are anecdotal stories of people breaking out of handcuffs by ripping the skin off their wrists while under the influence of PCP. The drug distorts the image and ability of one’s body to the point of self-mutilation. Chronic PCP users are known to suffer severe mental breaks where long term schizophrenia can follow. During the peak years of PCP use many city police forces started carrying tasers. Cops had no way of subduing the addicts short of using deadly force before the advent of tasers and using batons and mace proved to be frivolous. Luckily PCP use has been in a steady decline since its high prevalence throughout 1980’s. PCP is a combination of both a devastating high and devastating long term effects.
“Bath Salts” are a type of stimulant drug more formally known as synthetic cathinone. The most commonly used cathinone in the US is the chemical MDPV, which has effects similar to amphetamine such as wakefulness, loss of appetite, stimulation, sexual arousal, panic attacks, and psychosis. Crystal powder containing MDPV used to be sold in gas stations and liquor stores mislabeled as “bath salts” or “plant food” in order to avoid regulation as a controlled substance, which is how the drug got its name.
Bath salts gained notoriety because of the sensational news reports of people who die using them. In addition to countless overdose deaths, there have been a few cases where the psychotic effects caused tragedy: a Washington state soldier shot and killed his wife then himself while on the drug, a young man in Virginia beat his friend to death, and there’s also the infamous example of one Florida homeless man who was killed by the police while eating another man’s face. Bath salts are not only terrifying because they are especially potent or addictive, but also because of the psychotic behavior associated with using them.
Krokodil is a flesh-eating, synthetic heroin that causes its victims to look like something straight out of a horror movie. The homemade desomorphine is prepared from codeine using a similar process to that used to turn pseudophedrine into methamphetamine. Russian authorities have been cracking down on heroin use, causing demand for a heroin replacement, but codeine is available without a prescription. Krokodil is more potent, lasts for a shorter amount of time, and is more addictive than heroin. The high lasts an hour to an hour and a half and withdrawal starts immediately afterwards. Because of this, many users inject the drug right after synthesizing it without taking the time to purify it or eliminate toxic byproducts from the cooking process. The combination of high addictive potential and toxic adulterants causes severe tissue damage leaving many addicts with scaly-looking skin, leading to the name which is Russian for crocodile. Over time users’ veins and arteries will decay so much that the average lifespan of krokodil addicts is two years before they die of gangrene.
Scopolamine, also known as “Devil’s Breath,” might actually be the scariest drug ever. It’ found throughout Columbia on the “borrachero” tree. It has leafy green canopies with yellow and white flowers that can be broken down into powder. The most common uses for scopolamine are rape, robbery, and murder. Perpetrators will usually slip it into a victim’s drink or blow it in their face. It only takes a few minutes for a person to fall under its spell. The drug turns victims into mindless zombies and blocks memories from forming, while appearing completely normal. Victims can be guided around, be told what to do, and they will comply. Sex workers will smear it on their breasts to rob their clients. There are multiple accounts of victims waking up in parks and random street benches with no recollection of how they got there. One man explained waking up in his apartment which was completely emptied to which he found out he unknowingly, yet willingly, abetted his predators by helping them load his own belongings into their van. After losing all control, victims easily gave up their bank account codes and can be held captive for days until they reemerge from their high. Scopolamine leaves victims with lingering memory problems, post-traumatic stress, and flat out robbed of their dignity. After just one use, Devil’s Breath can cause life-long psychological effects. Every aspect of your life is in jeopardy when under the influence of this horrifying drug.