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Scopolamine: The Blowing Powder

Scopolamine: The Blowing Powder

“They go out to party and then wake up two or three days later on a park bench…They arrive here without their belongings or their money.” ~Maria Fernanda Villota, a nurse at San Jose University Hospital in Bogota’ Scopolamine hydrobromide is a drug with an extremely dichotomous nature. Depending upon who you talk to, it is either a heaven-sent beneficial medicine or a terrifying drug from the depths of hell. Scopolamine In Colombia, it’s spoken of in whispers, with the ominous-sounding name “the Devil’s Breath”, because locals say that it “steals your soul”. Some experts call scopolamine “the world’s most dangerous drug”. Scopolamine in Columbia Yet the World Health Organization lists scopolamine as an “essential medicine” – a drug that is necessary for a country’s basic healthcare setup. Scopolamine has several legitimate applications, including:

  • Motion sickness
  • Seasickness
  • Nausea/Vomiting experienced by post-operative patients
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal spasms

Borrachero Tree

What is Scopolamine?

Scopolamine is a drug that is also referred to as Hyoscine. It is a medication that can be used to treat motion sickness. Doctors will also frequently use it to help with nausea and vomiting after surgery. It can even be used prior to surgery to help decrease saliva, in some cases. It works quickly, and it is very effective when used for medical purposes. There are different ways that someone can take Scopolamine. It can be taken orally, and it can also be injected. For many people, they use it as a patch that goes on the skin behind the ear. This is the way that most people find it when they purchase Scopolamine over the counter. The World Health Organization lists Scopolamine as one of the safest and most effective medications. It began being used for medicinal purposes in 1947. It was approved by the FDA in the 1970s. Today, it is found in almost every grocery store and pharmacy across the United States.

Scopolamine Drug Uses

There is no doubt that Scopolamine is a very effective drug. It works by correcting the imbalance of chemicals that can lead to motion sickness. It does this by blocking signals to the brain that can trigger nausea and vomiting. In addition to helping with nausea and vomiting, there are many other uses for Scopolamine as well. It can be used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Some doctors may prescribe it for muscle spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, and other conditions. It can even be prescribed off-label to treat asthma and depression, and to help people stop smoking. Scopolamine is an alkaloid drug, which means it has the potential for abuse. In recent years, it has been used criminally to get people to confess as a sort of truth serum. Scopolamine abuse has become very common, and its popularity is growing in the United States.

How is Scopolamine Powder Misused?

Unfortunately, Scopolamine drug powder is misused all the time. The misuse of this drug is actually quite terrifying. It is a powerful medication that should never be abused. The question is, how do people misuse it for the purpose of abusing it? There are a few different ways. Some pharmacies have Hyoscine pills available. These pills can be crushed and snorted or smoked. The Scopolamine powder can be dissolved in water and consumed that way, as well. It is tasteless, which is why it’s often used in cases of date rape. For the Scopolamine patches, the medication can be extracted from the patch and made into a consumable drug. The effects of it are quick, and the euphoria it produces is intoxicating and highly desirable. People quickly become addicted to the feelings that Scopolamine produces.

The Hazards of Scopolamine

Scopolamine comes from the Borrachero tree, usually found in Colombia. An approximate translation of “Borrachero” is “drunken binge”, a description that barely scratches the surface of scopolamine’s effects. When the powdered extract from the Borrachero tree is consumed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, the victim is “temporary zombified”:

  • Extreme docility
  • Loss of free will
  • Amnesia
  • Vivid, terrifying hallucinations
  • Unconsciousness lasting as long as 24 hours
  • Death at higher doses

Scopolamine’s effects are so strong that governments have used it as a “truth serum”, American police used it in the early 20th century, and the CIA experimented with it in the 1960’s. The Czechoslovakian government was still employing it as recently as 2008. Truth Serum The CIA has reported that sometimes, merely threatening to use scopolamine would result in a confession.

Scopolamine and Its Use in Criminal Activity

Today, Devil’s Breath is often used to commit crimes – kidnapping, sexual assault, or robbery.  There are as many as 50,000 criminal assaults involving scopolamine every year in Colombia. In Bogotá, 1 out of every 5 emergency visits are due to scopolamine poisoning, and 70% of those patients report being robbed. Scopolamine in Criminal Acts In 2012, Canadian government and the US Department of State each warned travelers about the possibility of being targeted when going to Colombia. From the US State Department: “The Embassy continues to receive reports of criminals in Colombia using disabling drugs to temporarily incapacitate terrorists and others… Typically, victims become disoriented or unconscious, and are thus vulnerable to robbery, sexual assault, and other crimes…” A typical criminal strategy is to use young attractive women to target (possibly) wealthy foreign men. The women will feign interest and then either slip scopolamine into their victim’s drink or hand them a drug-coated room key. Sometimes, travelers are waylaid more aggressively, by criminals who blow scopolamine powder into their faces, and then rob or assault them while they are in a weakened mental condition. In 2015, 3 criminals were arrested in Paris after targeting at least 20 people for robbery. One Parisian police source said, “They got the victims to take them to their home, where they asked them to put all their jewelry and money into a bag in hand it over to them.”

Scopolamine Addiction

Hyoscine is not a drug that most would equate with addiction. It’s sold over the counter, and it is also available for purchase online. Because of this, people don’t realize how easily it can be abused. The longer a drug is abused, the higher the risk becomes of forming an addiction to it. Many refer to misusing Scopolamine as “blowing powder.” Most people begin using Hyoscine for good reasons. They may be planning to go on vacation, and use it to help with motion sickness on an airplane, for example. What they don’t realize is that it can cause sensation of euphoria. In this way, it is a psychoactive drug. Someone who abuses Scopolamine may take too much of the drug at one time. They could take too many of the tablets, snort the Scopolamine drug powder, or apply too many patches. Eventually, continued abuse of Scopolamine will result in an addiction if it is allowed to continue. Signs of a Scopolamine addiction might include:

  • Feeling depressed
  • Frequently feeling very relaxed
  • Having cravings when not using Scopolamine
  • Significant problems at work or at home
  • Financial difficulties due to drug use

For someone who is addicted to Scopolamine, the drug becomes first priority in their life. They may think about using all the time. When they’re high, they consistently think about the next time they’ll be able to use. It is a euphoric drug that has a very strong pull. Once the addiction is formed, it’s very difficult to stop using this drug.

Scopolamine – An Odd Choice for a Recreational Drug

Some people experiment with Devil’s Breath because of its hallucinatory, dreamlike effects.  Because of the negative effects – loss of control, amnesia, unconsciousness – scopolamine is a strange choice for people looking for a “good” time.  But as is the case with every intoxicant, there are always people who are adventurous enough or curious enough to ignore the risks. Because scopolamine’s effects are so similar to Rohypnol – “roofies” – it is increasingly being used as a date-rape drug. Not only are victims vulnerable to sexual assault, they will usually have no memory of what happened  – or even of the circumstances leading up to the assault. Tactics

Dangers of Scopolamine Misuse

The abuse of scopolamine can result in potentially dangerous consequences:

  • Memory loss
  • Vulnerability to criminal/sexual assault
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Rash
  • Itchiness
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision/Dilated pupils
  • Extreme sensitivity to light
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis, due to prolonged hallucinations

Dangers of Scopolamine Although scopolamine has not yet reached the same level of popularity as other illicit drugs, the dangers are magnified because of how vulnerable users and victims become. This is especially true when a drug user takes scopolamine unwittingly, resulting in not only increased risk of assault, but a higher chance of a dangerous overdose.

A Scopolamine Addiction is Dangerous – Treatment Can Help

If you are addicted to blowing powder with Scopolamine, you need to know that it’s dangerous. You are headed down a hazardous road, and you’re taking risks you should not be taking. It may seem harmless to you because you can easily purchase this drug at your local store. Even so, when it is misused, it can quickly lead to an addiction. There is a very good reason why this drug is often referred to as The Devil’s Breath. If you think you may have formed an addiction to it, acting quickly is in your best interests. It’s important to get help for your Scopolamine addiction as soon as you can. You may need a period of drug detox, which can help you with the withdrawal symptoms you’ll go through. Detoxification is important because it makes your recovery more comfortable. It also gives you a better chance for a more successful recovery, long term. After detox, you will want to go to drug rehab. Here at Northpoint Recovery, we can walk you through those steps. We’ve worked with many people who have had addictions to Scopolamine drug powder. We know the effects this drug produces, and we can guide you through the recovery process because of our experience. Remember, addiction recovery should not have to happen on your own. It’s dangerous to recover from a drug like Scopolamine without professional guidance. Are you addicted to Scopolamine? If you are, you need professional help to quit using. Please contact us today so that we can guide you through the process.

Full Infographic:

Scopolamine The Blowing Powder