So you are probably thinking that this is just another article that vividly expresses how harmful some recreational drugs can be, like the usual cocaine, meth or heroin. Although they can all be dangerous and corrupt the state of mind and physiology, possibly even permanently, they are incomparable to this Colombian drug. For those who are aware of its existence, it is almost always agreed to be the most powerful and dangerous drug in the world, and this despite its various medical uses as a pre-surgical medication and in the treatment of nausea. So why is it considered so dangerous?
First of all, the drug’s name is called Scopolamine but in the streets of Colombia, where it is notably used, it is known as The Devil’s Breath. This drug will make the user feel inclined to act upon the suggestions given to the user by others. This will only last for a day; once its effect wears off, the user will experience a deficit in memory of their actions that took place while they were under this drug’s influence. It basically just takes away a person’s free will while sustaining full consciousness and rationality. A spine chilling fact about this drug is that it is an odourless and tasteless white powder that can simply be blown into someone’s face, or even sprinkled into someone’s food or drink. Yes you understood that correctly. Once this happens, the victim will do anything the pusher says, from sleeping with them to giving their whole life savings. To add on to this, the victims will not remember any of it the next day which literally makes it the perfect drug for robbers, rapists or psychos; in fact it is popular among Colombian crime lords. Fortunately it is not that easy to get a hold of and it and it has only been reported to be in use in Colombia. However, the plant that grows these seeds that can be chemically altered to create this powerful drug is found in Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia.
At first glance, the plant looks harmless and appealing, but its cacao that can be extracted from the plant by hand are not so much. This cacao has ruined the lives of hundreds of people, people have been talked into emptying their bank accounts, agreed to be gang raped and even gave up their children willingly. Among these victims, a few still experience some side effects. They describe their memory to be weakened permanently after change into victims of this drug.
In an interview held by Raw Story, a victim of scopolamine describes how she lost her willpower to a man she met on the street who had asked her for directions. While gladly helping the stranger by taking him to the location he was looking for, which happened to be her neighbourhood, they drank some beer on the way. At this very moment the dealer slipped the powder in her drink. The next thing she remembered was waking up next to a park bench with torn clothes and no money in her pockets. Full of questions to reconcile what had happened she realized she had cleared her bank account and lost around 1,500 dollars. She explains how she reported the theft to the police and they suggested it was Devil’s breath. The lady was of course familiar with the substance and helplessly went back home knowing that the crime is untraceable and hoping that she wouldn’t have to experience such a traumatic event again. However, a month passed and she started getting sick and noticed she was a week late. Yep, you guessed it- she was not only robbed but also raped and now pregnant.
Now that we may have a better understanding of what kind of drug this is, maybe you may want to keep your eyes open next time you’re backpacking to South America. Let’s hope that in time people will become aware of what kind of substances exist out there and be grateful that in Europe it is not so easily obtained. If you wish to read or watch more about Scopolamine and its victims the internet is a good place to start with dozens of victim stories to read. There even exists a documentary filmed by VICE in which they take the streets of Colombia and meet victims, users and drug dealers.